Kuwait unveils $2.1bn airport expansion plan

Move could see airport's annual passenger capacity rise to 13 million passengers per year
Kuwait unveils $2.1bn airport expansion plan
Work on the airport will start in 2012 and is due to be completed in 2016/17
By Shane McGinley
Wed 05 Oct 2011 04:36 PM

Kuwait International Airport has unveiled its $2.1bn expansion plans which will more than double its annual passenger capacity.

The masterplan for the new terminal building, designed by renowned UK-based architect firm Foster + Partners, will see the airport’s annual passenger capacity increase to 13 million passengers per year, with further development allowing it to accommodate up to 50 million passengers per year.

At present, the airport has a capacity of around 5.69 million passengers per year and can accommodate 46,930 aircraft.

The new terminal is estimated to cost around $2.1bn to complete and work will start in 2012 and is due to be completed in 2016/17, the Ministry of Public Works (MPW) said at a press conference earlier this week.

The design will have a trefoil plan, comprising three symmetrical wings of departure gates with each façade spanning 1.2 kilometres. There are also plans to build a metro linking the airport to the city centre.

“We look forward to continuing to work with the Ministry of Public Works and the Directorate General of Civil Aviation Kuwait on the planning and design of the new airport. We have established an excellent working relationship with our client – we have a shared goal to create a terminal that is an exemplar of sustainable design and will establish Kuwait as the region’s leading air hub,” said Nikolai Malsch, a partner at Foster + Partners.

Kuwait airport’s expansion is part of Gulf nations’ plans to spend around $90bn on airport development by 2020, the general manager of Fujairah International Airport told Arabian Business in June.

The region’s aviation sector is poised to see eight new runways and the refurbishment and expansion of airports and military bases, as Gulf states move to position themselves as global travel hubs.

“To name a few developments, Dubai has allocated $10bn, Abu Dhabi has allocated $6.8bn, Qatar $11bn, Jeddah $1.5bn, Muscat $1.2bn and approximately $2.1bn in Kuwait,” Khaled Almazroui said in a speech at an aviation event in Dubai.

Aviation has been earmarked as a key growth area for the Gulf over the next decade. The wider Middle East is forecast to see 400 million air travellers by 2020, according to IATA data.

For all the latest transport news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Subscribe to Arabian Business' newsletter to receive the latest breaking news and business stories in Dubai,the UAE and the GCC straight to your inbox.