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Kuwait airport passenger traffic up 11% in May

Posted Wed 13 Jun 2012 02:37:05 pm in News, Tourism & Hospitality | By News Desk

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Kuwait wants its airport to handle 13m passengers by 2016.

The number of passengers passing through Kuwait International Airport reached 703,000 in May, a 11 percent rise year-on-year, the state news agency reported on 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 17m kg.

The growth comes as it was announced in December that construction work on Kuwait’s expanded KWD900m (US$3.2bn) 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 finalised 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 5.69m passengers per year and can accommodate 46,930 aircraft. The expansion is expected to increase passenger capacity to 13m a year, with further development increasing capacity to 50m a year.

The six GCC states plan to spend around US$90bn on overhauling their airports to 2020.

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