Kuwait is considering building a new $12-billion world-class mega airport to meet the rapid growth in air traffic, a senior official said.
Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) Sheikh Salman Sabah Salem Al-Humoud Al-Sabah (photo) was quoted by Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) as saying the government is studying putting up a tender for a new airport with a capacity of 25 million passengers a year.
Sheikh Salman was speaking at the Kuwait Investment Forum 2018 (KIF2018).
“Taking into consideration the basic requirements for airport building, security and safety standards and weather, the new airport will be located in northern Kuwait,” he said.
He said the site would facilitate the establishment of an integrated airport that would provide all transport and logistics services.
Sheikh Salman stated that the government would allocate the land and the private sector would build, operate and manage the project.
“Assigning such a mega project to specialized international companies would be an optimal way for achieving partnership between public and private sectors,” he noted.
He forecast that up to $12 billion will be invested in the new airport, which would generate over 15,000 jobs.
He underlined that the new project would meet the steady growth in air traffic. “Kuwait will witness a rapid growth in passenger and cargo movement in the coming 20 years, so we study such projects,” he noted.
He added that the Kuwait International Airport accommodated 13.7 million passengers in 2017, an increase of 17% compared to 2016 and the volume of its air cargo hit 241,000 tons in 2017 compared with 195.5 tons in 2016.
“To keep pace with this growth, the DGCA has also revamped the existing airport through a number of projects such as the construction of the new passenger terminal (T2) with a capacity of 25 million passengers annually, scheduled to complete by 2022,” he said.
Sheikh Salman added that the DGCA has also started the building of a new Passengers Support Terminal (T4). “Work on this project is proceeding according to schedule,” he said, noting that it aims to ease congestion at the existing terminal at the Kuwait International Airport.
The T4 would accommodate about 4.5 million passengers annually and provide diverse services for travelers, he said.
The DGCA is also setting up two new runways and a new control tower at the Kuwait International Airport to enhance its traffic efficiency and safety, he stated.
He described the construction of the new cargo city at the Kuwait International Airport (currently in the first stage) as one of the most promising projects of the state development plan.
The mega city will be built on an area of 3 million square meters and is expected to be the largest in the Middle East, he said.
He disclosed that Kuwait is finalizing a new civil aviation law to open the way for the establishment of new aviation companies in the country.