KUWAIT – Kuwait wants its airport to handle 13 million passengers by 2016, as the number of passengers passing through Kuwait International Airport reached 703,000 in May, an 11 percent rise year-on-year, the Kuwait news agency reported Tuesday.
Of the 703,000 passengers, 343,000 were incoming, while 360,000 were outgoing.
Official data also reported the total number of flights to and from the airport rose seven percent to 7,178, while the total amount of air freight handled rose three percent to around 17 million kg.
The growth comes as it was announced in December that construction work on Kuwait’s expanded KWD900 million ($3.2 billion) airport terminal will be completed by the fourth quarter of 2016.
Design for the terminal, which is forecast to more than double annual passenger capacity, was due to finalized earlier this year, according to the Ministry of Public Works.
The design will have a trefoil plan, including three wings of departure gates with each façade spanning 1.2km.
There are also plans to build a metro linking the airport to the city centre.
The contract was awarded to UK architects Foster + Partners last March. The firm counts Saudi Economic City and Abu Dhabi National Museum among its regional projects.
Kuwait’s existing airport has a capacity of around 5.69 million passengers per year and can accommodate 46,930 aircraft.
The expansion is expected to increase passenger capacity to 13 million a year, with further development increasing capacity to 50 million a year. – SG/KUNA