Saudi authorities expand al-Ula’s airport annual capacity by 300 pct

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Authorities in Saudi Arabia have worked together to complete the second phase of expansion plans for al-Ula’s airport, expanding capacity by 300 percent as the northwestern city expects to host two million visitors annually by 2035, according to an announcement.

The announcement was made on Saturday by the Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU) after working with Saudi Arabia General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA).

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The second phase of the al-Ula airport development project comes amid plans to reopen the area in preparation to receive visitors in October.

“Encompassing the renovation of the airport’s main terminal building and the expansion of the apron to add 6 Code C and larger 4 Code E Aircraft Stands, an additional 150,000m2 of taxiways with 2 additional connections to the runway, the second phase of the development project increases the airport’s annual capacity from 100,000 to 400,000 passengers,” the statement read.

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The completed airside works can facilitate up to 15,000 aircraft movements per year that will be required to serve the over 2,000,000 visitors to AlUla in 2035 and beyond, authorities added.

The private sector is expected to be the driving force behind local tourism in Saudi Arabia amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Kingdom’s Tourism Minister as authorities announce the launch of a domestic summer vacation campaign.