Saudi Arabia has unveiled a project to build a new regional airport in Taif Province. The prospective 57 km2 airport will be located 30 km northeast of Taif, 70 km from Makkah, and 160 km from Jeddah. In addition to serving millions of pilgrims who visit the Kingdom annually, the new airport is expected to be an important factor in developing the tourism sector in the province.
The importance of the airport increases because of its proximity to the Holy Sites and the road leading to Makkah through Al Sail Al Kaber, Megat Al Sail (Gurn Al Manazel), as well as the city’s central location, which is surrounded by a highway road-network, which links it to the Kingdom’s different regions (middle, east, south, west, and north).
Taif province is currently witnessing enormous developments on all levels, in addition to the steady increase in tourist numbers from Saudi Arabia and GCC countries, which made it the most significant tourist destination among other local destinations.
Taif Mayor, HE Fahad Bin Mo’amer, explained that the new airport will be an important addition for the city, which is expected to join other Hajj cities in Makkah province, to utilize the integrated services provided at Taif’s eastern gate into the Holy City. On the other hand, Bin Mo’amer indicated that the new airport will provide full support to King Abdul-Aziz International Airport during Hajj season, adding that Taif has a wide internal transportation movement throughout the year, which increases during Hajj, Eid, and holiday seasons.
Taif airport currently receives pilgrims from GCC courtiers with full success. Bin Mo’amer explained that work is underway to execute design studies for this vital project, so the airport capacitates successive, scheduled, and additional flights to and from the city, in an effort to increase the futuristic flight capacity based on the constructional and population growth it is currently witnessing.
Bin Mo’amer indicated that, “Taif has been a favorite tourist place for tourists and visitors from Saudi Arabia and Gulf States citizens which requires increasing the development projects, in order to meet such turnout, and to have a positive impact on the economical activities of the municipality.”
Taif’s existing airport, which was founded in 1955, is considered one of the first airports in the Kingdom. It witnessed the first landing of the King Abdul-Aziz’s airplane in the same year.