Massive expansion plans have been mooted for Saudi airports.

Airports in the Middle East will need to invest $151 billion in capacity expansion as the global air passenger demand is expected to increase more than two-fold by 2040, according to the Airport Council International (ACI).

As new airports come up and existing facilities get expanded and upgraded to meet future passenger demands, industry players will discuss the huge investments coming back into the sector at the Airport Show in Dubai from May 9 to 11.

According to industry experts, Saudi Arabia is spearheading the momentum in the regional airports construction, undertaking a massive airport expansion and upgrades programme that will help serve 330 million travellers by 2030 through $147 billion investments. It is set to build one of the world’s largest airports which will have six parallel runways. The airport will help drive annual passenger traffic to 120 million by 2030 and 185 million by 2050.

Kuwait too is investing big in its passenger Terminal 2 expansion in a bid to boost its annual handling capacity to 13 million passengers per year with the flexibility to increase to 25 million and 50 million passengers in the future. It is being implemented at a total cost of $4.36 billion.

According to the Centre for Aviation (CAPA), there have been 425 major construction projects at existing airports, with $450.7 billion in total committed expenditure globally, along with 225 new airport projects.