The plan is said to have been designed with an aim to meet the goals of Saudi Arabia’s national strategies for civil aviation and tourism.
The Saudi Gazette reported that the project scope includes the construction of a new passenger lounge covering a 65,000m² area, as well as a car park with the capacity to accommodate more than 2,200 cars.
The airport’s existing lounge covers a 10,700m² area.
Saudi Arabia’s Matarat Holding Company and Asir Development Authority will manage the airport expansion project.
Gulf News quoted Matarat CEO Mohammad Al Mowkley as saying: “Matarat, a joint stock company and a subsidiary of the General Authority of Civil Aviation in cooperation with relevant authorities, strives to make the design of the new airport consistent with the architectural identity of the Asir region, and as a major source for promoting tourism in the region.”
Once completed, the expanded airport will have the capacity to serve more than 13 million passengers a year.
Saudi Abha International Airport can currently handle 1.1 million passengers on an annual basis.
In addition, the revamped airport will be able to serve more than 95,000 flights a year, compared with 35,000 flights at present.
Founded in 2013, Matarat Holding aims to ‘transform and promote Saudi airports by leading the privatisation of a new, sustainable and thriving industry’.
The joint-stock company is a subsidiary of the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA), the Saudi government agency that oversees air transport services.
In December last year, it was reported that Saudi Arabia was planning to privatise all its airports under its Vision 2030 economic diversification plan.