(Corrections in the last paragraph)

Saudi Crown Prince and Prime Minister Mohammed bin Salman has announced the launch of the master plan for the new Abha International Airport.

The terminal area will expand to 65,000 square metres (sqm) to complete the first phase by 2028, compared to the current 10,500 sqm of the existing airport. 

This expansion includes the construction of passenger boarding bridges, self-service facilities for streamlined travel procedures, and high-capacity parking facilities, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

The airport's capacity will increase to accommodate over 13 million passengers annually, a tenfold increase from the current 1.5 million. It will also handle more than 90,000 flights annually, a significant increase from the current 30,000 flights. 

The new airport will also feature 20 gates, 41 check-in counters, and seven new self-service check-ins.

The design of the new airport will reflect the architectural identity of the Aseer region, the report said.

In April 2023, the National Centre for Privatisation and PPP (NCP) listed Abha airport among the four new airport projects it intended to tender under the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model as part of a bigger pipeline of 200 privatisation and PPP projects.

Saudi Arabia's aviation strategy aligned with the country's Vision 2030 blueprint to increase air connectivity to 250 destinations and transport 330 million passengers.

(Writing by P Deol; Editing by Anoop Menon)


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