Riyadh King Khaled International Airport RUH - or simly KKIA - is one of Saudi Arabia's three major airports and serves the Central area of the country and its City Riyadh. KKIA can easily be identified from the air by its 81-meter control tower, one of the largest in the world, and by the dome of its mosque with its 39-meter minaret. Half a million square meters of landscaping surround the Airport with plants tolerant of the prevailing hot and dry environment.
While the Airport's design is modern, it reflects Islamic architecture and the Kingdom's rich culture.
The beautiful Airport Mosque can accommodate 5,000 worshipers inside and another 5,000 in the plaza outside. It also houses, off the main mosque floor, a Koran-based library.
RUH Airport is 35 km north of the city of Riyadh.Major roads to the airport include King Fahd Road, Al-Takhassousi Road and the East Interstate Highway. The entire Airport occupies an area of 225 sq.kilometers.
With 2 very long parallel runways and an estimated 21.5 million passengers annually, Riadh King Khaled International Airport is hub to Saudi Arabia Airlines, and is served by major international airlines offering direct and connecting flights to all points of the globe.
On-Airport Sahara Airport Hotel (tel. +966 (01) 220-4500) offers extensive conference facilities.
The King Khaled Airport terminal complex presently consists of inter-connected triangle-shaped terminals T1, T2, T3 & T4 & new T5 - (as well as of a VIP Terminal, and a General Aviation Terminal). Each of Terminals 1 - 4 is of the same size, with 8 gates each and with corresponding air-bridges. Moving sidewalks (‘travelators’) transport passengers between the three linked buildings connecting the international and domestic terminals. The two parking structures opposite from the terminals, have in their center the KKIA Mosque.
- T1 is intended for international flights - other than those by Air France, Saudia & Nas Air.
- T2 is intended for international flights by Air France, Saudi & Nas Air; and
- T3* is intended for domestic flights.
- T4* was built a few years ago, but was never put into service.
* T3 & T4 are now being expanded in order to increase annual passenger capacity.
Services and amenities inside terminals 1 - 3: Information is available at the Operations Office, staffed by bilingual attendants; shops, duty-free shops, restaurants, & cafeterias are in T1, T2 & T3; two 24-hr banks in T2, & ATM cash machines in T2 & T3; free WiFi access in all terminals; & a Post Office in T2, as well as hotel and rental car counters, first-aid stations, airlines and government offices, duty-free shops, & free internet access.
T1 & T2 house new large first & business class lounges. The new KKIA First/Business Class Lounge at T1 is now six times the size of the previous one - located at mezzanine level. Another first & business class lounge is either completed, or soon to be completed at T2
- Rental Car counters are at the parking lot entry of each hall, open 24/7.
- Short- & long-term parking is available in two three-level garages in front of the passenger terminals, to the left & rights side of the Airport mosque, and accessible via pedestrian walkways below the arrivals level roadway. Both garages have escalators, elevators & stairways. .
- New Terminal 5 (T5) - located next to the other terminals - partially opened May 2016, when Saudia airlines took off on its first day of operation. The 106,000 sq.meters terminal with a capacity of 12M passengers annually , is the country's first privately-run terminal - operated by a Dublin Airport Authority subsidiary.
By June 2016, T5 became fully operational - housing 36 check-in counters (30 for economy class, 6 for first- & business-class), 60 baggage check-in counters, 20 self-service counters, 5 new baggage carousels, 30 elevators, 19 escalators & 6 conveyors. A Ticket sales office is near check-in facilities. First- and busines-class halls cover 2,400 sq.meters ,and there is also a large VIP Executive Office. The commercial area covers 4,712 sq.meters - housing shops and a food court..
Terminal 5 can accommodate 7 jumbo planes or 16 average-size planes. It also has its own parking facility for 3,740 cars.
- Upon completion of the railway project - T5 is to be connected to the Riyadh Metro
- The VIP Terminal (the 'Royal Pavilion') - south of the Mosque and connected to it, serves high-ranking VIPs and heads of state, and is adorned with open spaces, garden areas and fountains, and a ceremonial hall connecting it to the mosque.
The stunning KKIA Mosque is the center piece of the terminal complex and can be recognized by its huge dome minaret; it accommodates 5,000 worshipers inside, and the same amount outside.
Future Airport Developments: The T5 project was necessary in order to implement transfer passenger traffic from T3 during the expansion period and development of T3 & T4 (including new lounges, baggage handling & security systems) - scheduled to be completed May 2019, when capacity should increase from 19M to 3oM passengers annually.
The expansion to reach a capacity of 30M passengers annually is done in three phases:
Phase 1 was to reach a capacity 30M passengers in 2016; phase 2 - 43M by 2025; and phase 3 - 80M by 2035.