Saudi Arabia seeks bidders for Foster-designed Abha terminal

Foster + Partners’ rendering of its design for the terminal
Saudi Arabia is looking for bidders for a proposed public-private partnership scheme to expand and modernise Abha Airport in the southwest of the country, business website Zawya reports.

The Saudi Civil Aviation Holding Company and the National Centre for Privatisation are planning to add a second passenger terminal, designed by London-based architect Foster + Partners, together with a taxiway and an apron for its aircraft.

The company is planning to build the facilities in two or three phases, with the terminal handling its first passengers in 2028.

The project will also include ancillary work such as access roads, a car park and utilities such as a substation and sewage treatment plant.

Foster’s design for the terminal is arranged as a set of interconnected clusters, each tailored to specific functions and passenger needs. These are interspersed with outdoor courtyards and walkways in the style of the region’s villages (see further reading).

Abha is the fifth largest airport in the kingdom, after Jeddah, Riyadh, Dammam and Madinah. After the expansion, it will be able to handle up to 8 million passengers a year, making it a small-to-medium-sized facility.

It is located close to the border with Yemen and was frequently attacked by the rebel Ansar Allah movement during Saudi Arabia’s lengthy intervention in its neighbour’s civil war.

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