Plans have been unveiled for a new airport in Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia.

Earlier this week, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, Prime Minister and Chairman of the Council of Economic and Development Affairs (CEDA), and Chairman of the country’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), announced the masterplan for the new King Salman International Airport.

King Salman International Airport, Riyadh
King Salman International Airport, Riyadh

It is expected to become one of the world’s largest airports covering an area of approximately 57 sq km, allowing for six parallel runways. It will include the existing terminals named after King Khalid.

The new airport will also feature 12 sq km of residential and recreational facilities, retail outlets, and other logistics support service areas.

The airport aims to accommodate up to 120 million travellers by 2030. That figure is expected to rise to 185 million passengers and a capacity to process 3.5 million tons of cargo by 2050, according to a statement by PIF.

The PIF added that “Riyadh’s identity and the Saudi culture will be taken into consideration in the airport’s design.”

It will also achieve LEED Platinum certification by incorporating green initiatives into its design and will be powered by renewable energy.

The airport is expected to contribute SAR27 billion annually to the country’s non-oil GDP and create 103,000 direct and indirect jobs.

It is also “in line with Saudi Arabia’s vision to transform Riyadh to be among the top ten city economies in the world and to support the growth of Riyadh’s population to 15–20 million people by 2030,” according to the PIF.