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World’s Largest Airport Under Construction in Saudi Arabia

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Saudi Arabia is constructing the world’s largest airport as part of an ambitious plan to become a global travel hub.

Scheduled for completion at the end of the decade, the project is a keystone of Mohammed Bin Salman’s ambitious Vision 2030 strategy to enhance his country’s international appeal.

Built on the site on the existing King Khalid airport, Riyadh, the new airport will cover an area of around 34 square miles, comprising six parallel runways, residential and recreational facilities, as well as retail outlets.

With a scheduled completion date in 2030, it is hoped the airport will be ready to greet passengers in time for the capital to host the World Expo in the second half of 2030, and ahead of the country hosting the FIFA World Cup in 2034.

According to the PIF, the airport will “boost Riyadh’s position as a global logistics hub and stimulate transport, trade and tourism.”

With an estimated initial passenger capacity of 120 million per year, rising to 185 million in 2050, the airport would become the largest in the world by passenger numbers, outstripping the Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta airport, through which around 105 million voyagers pass annually.

In April, London-based construction company Mace Group was named lead consultant for the project, while the design of the airport’s infrastructure is split between Foster + Partners and Jacobs Solutions.

Foster + Partners said that the airport will have “sustainability at its core,” achieved by “by incorporating cutting edge green initiatives into its design and will be powered by renewable energy.”

The airport would support the country’s aim to transform Riyadh into one of the “top ten city economies in the world”, the PIF said, while also boosting the capitals population to between 15 and 20 million from its current 7.8 million inhabitants.

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