The new airport aims to have capacity for 3.5m tons of cargo © Massimo Insabato/Archivio Massimo Insabato/Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images
The new airport aims to have capacity for 3.5m tons of cargo © Massimo Insabato/Archivio Massimo Insabato/Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images

Saudi 'aerotropolis' aims to boost air cargo and link east and west

Will Green is news editor of Supply Management
29 November 2022

Saudi Arabia has announced plans for a new airport to boost trade and “act as a bridge linking the east with the west”.

King Salman International Airport is “expected to be one of the world’s largest airports” with six parallel runways and covering around 57 sq km.

The airport, unveiled by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, aims to accomodate 120m travellers by 2030 and 185m by 2050, when it will have capacity for 3.5m tons of cargo.

“It will become an aerotropolis centred around a seamless customer journey, world-class efficient operations, and innovation,” said the Saudi Press Agency (SPA).

“The airport project is in line with Saudi Arabia’s vision to transform Riyadh to be among the top 10 city economies in the world and to support the growth of Riyadh’s population to 15–20 million people by 2030.”

The airport is expected to contribute 27bn Saudi riyals ($7.2bn) each year to GDP and create 103,000 direct and indirect jobs.

The facility will incorporate “cutting edge green initiatives into its design” and be powered by renewable energy.

Saleh bin Nasser Al-Jasser, minister of transport and logistic services, said the airport would “prominently contribute to enhancing the kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s status as a global logistical hub among the three continents, which will support the national strategic targets for transport and logistics services”.

“The airport will also contribute to the empowerment of the national strategies of other sectors, such as commerce, industry and tourism, to implement their ambitious targets,” said SPA.

“The King Salman International Airport in Riyadh will be a sophisticated economic hub, an urban landmark and a model for integrated transport that will contribute to the development of the logistics industry and enhancing the aviation economics.”

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