King Fahd International Airport

King Fahd International Airport (KFIA) (Arabic: مطار الملك فهد الدولي) (IATA: DMM, ICAO: OEDF) is an airport in Dammam, Saudi Arabia 20 kilometers (12 mi) northwest of Dammam, Saudi Arabia. The airport's basic infrastructure was complete by the end of 1990, which allowed the Allied forces engaged in the first Gulf War in early 1991 to use the field for the storage of military aircraft. KFIA was the base used by all USAF A-10s (144), as well as the US Army's 101st Airborne's AH-64, CH-47, UH-60, and OH-58 helicopters during the Gulf War. It was much more than a storage area. The US Army had many units there before the start of the war, as well as during redeployment from Iraq after. The General Authority of Civil Aviation of Saudi Arabia finally opened the new Dammam King Fahd International Airport on 28 November 1999 to commercial traffic, and all airlines transferred their operations from Dhahran International Airport, which had been in use until then. The new Dammam airport serves most of Eastern Region of Saudi Arabia and in particular the growing urban complex made up of Dammam, Dhahran, Khobar, Qatif, Ras Tanura, while its catchment area also covers Jubail with total population of about 2.5 million served. The airport is the third major hub for Saudia, and furthermore was a hub for the now defunct Sama Airlines.

King Fahd International Airport
Airport typePublic
OperatorDammam Airports Company
ServesEastern Province.
LocationDammam, Saudi Arabia
Opened28 November 1999 (1999-11-28)
Hub for
Elevation AMSL72 ft / 22 m
Coordinates26°28′16.3″N 049°47′54.9″E
Location of airport in Saudi Arabia
Direction Length Surface
ft m
16R/34L 13,123 4,000 Asphalt
16L/34R 13,123 4,000 Asphalt
Statistics (2016)
Cargo (tons)138,870
Aircraft movements90,134

The airport is named for Fahd bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, King of Saudi Arabia from 1982 until his death in 2005.


Design and construction

Design started in 1976. The site master plan was created by architecture firm Yamasaki & Associates and Boeing Aerosystems International, and completed in 1977.[2] Construction began in 1983, and the airport opened for commercial operations on 28 November 1999.[3]

Military base


The airport, in the Eastern Province of the country, is located between Qatif and Dammam, about 20 km (12 mi) away from Dammam. The location of this airport provides unique role as it hosts the Kingdom's shortest international flight to Bahrain as well as operating Saudi Arabia's longest domestic flight between Dammam and Tabuk. The airport is linked to populated areas by two major roads. The northern exit, which used to be the only one, links the airport with Qatif as a four-lane highway. The southern exit links the airport with Dammam as a six-lane highway to King Fahd Road which is now considered as the main road to the airport. Abu Hadriyah Highway (Arabic: ابوحدريّة) serves as the airport's eastern border while the Dammam-Riyadh Highway serves as a southern border. On the airport's southern border, Saudi Aramco occupies an area of 250 km2 (97 sq mi), which is used for oil drilling and transportation facilities.


The terminal has six stories, three of which are allocated for passenger processing. The third level is for arrivals, the sixth level is for departures, and the fourth level is for boarding. There are two partial levels: the mezzanine service level and the mezzanine level (which is the uppermost level).

The passenger terminal's total area is 327,000 m2 (3,520,000 sq ft). Approximately 247,500 m2 (2,664,000 sq ft) were built in the first phase, in addition to 11 fixed passenger boarding bridges serving 15 gates out of an original design capacity of 31 fixed boarding bridges. At the present time only 7 out of 11 boarding bridges can be used for international flight arrivals as the southern section of the terminal that hosts the remaining four gates is still unused making those gates unconnected to passport control and customs, however since domestic flights are entirely running from the operating northern section, all eleven boarding bridges can be used for domestic flights as well as the departures of international flights.

The terminal is equipped with several customer counters of which 66 were allocated to Saudia (now shared with flynas and SaudiGulf Airlines), 44 to foreign airlines, and the rest for customs and immigration.

The largest airport in the world in terms of area

Several sources, such as the Guinness Book of World Records[4] mention this airport as the largest in the world, with a total area of 780 square kilometers (larger than Bahrain). The official website, however, publishes an actual utilized airport area of 3,675 hectares (9,080 acres), or 36.75 square kilometers. It does mention a total area of 77,600 hectares (192,000 acres), but that includes the whole property.[5]

Passenger Facilities

King Fahd International Airport was the first among Saudi Arabia's international airports to adopt duty-free stores. In addition to the spaces allocated to duty-free stores, the airport has a separate area for shops specializing in the sale of gifts and all passenger related goods. This area includes restaurants, cafeterias, and banks, and is located on the arrivals level. The distinction is largely meaningless however as the Kingdom has no sales or import duties on any products. Recently, as part of larger marketing project named "Golden Circle", several shops and services are planned to open including indoor playgrounds and travel agencies.

The Mosque

The airport Mosque is built on the roof of the car park and in the middle of a landscaped area of 46,200 m² (497,292 ft²). It has an architectural design that combines modern style with the old Islamic style (arches, domes, and other Islamic decorations and carvings on the doors, Mihrab, and Mimbar). The Mosque accommodates two thousand worshipers, access to it can be easily gained from the passenger terminal through two enclosed, air-conditioned bridges equipped with moving belts, in addition to a third open bridge.


A 250-room Hilton hotel is currently under construction and is expected to open late 2018 or early 2019. The hotel will be linked to the airport terminal by a pedestrian bridge to facilitate easy access to and from the hotel.

Royal terminal

The Royal Terminal is reserved for the Saudi Royal Family, government personnel, and official guests. The terminal was built on an area of 16,400 m2 (177,000 sq ft) and has four bridges linking the terminal and aircraft. It is luxuriously furnished and decorated, and includes extensively landscaped exteriors and grounds. Despite its specialized purpose, the terminal is rarely used by the Royal Family, who generally prefers to utilize a similar special terminal at King Abdulaziz Air Base.

Airlines and destinations


Air Arabia Sharjah
Air Arabia Egypt Alexandria–Borg el Arab
Air India Delhi
Air India Express Kozhikode, Mangalore
Biman Bangladesh Airlines Dhaka
British Airways London–Heathrow[6]
Buta Airways Baku[7]
EgyptAir Alexandria–Borg el Arab, Cairo
Emirates Dubai–International
Ethiopian Airlines Addis Ababa
Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi
Flyadeal Jeddah, Riyadh,[8] Ta'if
FlyDubai Dubai–International
Flynas Abha, Al-Baha,[9] Arar, Cairo,[10] Gassim, Ha'il, Jeddah, Jizan, Karachi,[11] Khartoum, Kozhikode, Lahore,[12] Lucknow,[13] Medina, Riyadh, Tabuk, Ta'if, Yanbu
Seasonal: Baku, Tbilisi[14]
Gulf Air Bahrain
GoAir Kannur (begins 19 December 2019)
Himalaya Airlines Kathmandu[15]
IndiGo Mumbai
Jazeera Airways Kuwait (begins 19 December 2019)[16]
KLM Amsterdam, Muscat[17]
Kuwait Airways Kuwait
Lufthansa Frankfurt
Middle East Airlines Beirut
Oman Air Muscat
Pakistan International Airlines Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar,[18] Sialkot
Pegasus AirlinesIstanbul–Sabiha Gökçen[19]
Philippine Airlines Manila
Regent Airways Dhaka
Royal Jordanian Amman–Queen Alia
SaudiaAbha, Al Baha, Bisha, Cairo, Dhaka, Dubai–International, Gassim, Ha'il, Jeddah, Jizan, Kozhikode (suspended), Medina, Riyadh, Tabuk, Ta'if, Turaif
SaudiGulf AirlinesAbha, Islamabad, Jeddah,[21] Karachi, Lahore, Medina, Riyadh, Sialkot
SriLankan AirlinesColombo–Bandaranaike
SunExpress Trabzon (begins 19 December 2019)[22]
Tarco Airlines Khartoum
Turkish AirlinesIstanbul[23]
Seasonal: Trabzon[24]


Air France Cargo Dubai–International, Hong Kong, Mumbai
Cargo Garuda Indonesia Jakarta–Soekarno–Hatta
Cargolux Hong Kong, Luxembourg
Emirates SkyCargoDubai–Al Maktoum
Lufthansa Cargo Frankfurt, Sharjah
Saudia Cargo Amsterdam, Brussels, Dhaka, Frankfurt, Ho Chi Minh City, Hong Kong, Houston–Intercontinental, Jeddah, Maastricht, Manila, Milan–Malpensa, New York–JFK, Riyadh, Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi, Vienna

Airport infrastructure


The airport has two parallel runways with a length of 4,000 m (13,123 ft) each, in addition to taxiways parallel to the runways and a cross taxiway to connect the two runways. A distance of 2,146 m (7,041 ft) separates the two runways to facilitate simultaneous takeoff and landing operations. For more convenience and shorter taxiing durations, the east runway is usually used by Saudi Aramco while commercial airlines use the west one; however situation changes if one of the runways is undergoing maintenance. Space has been set aside for the construction of a third parallel runway.

Airport infrastructure[25] Infrastructure details for King Fahd International Airport
Runways 2
Runway length 4,000 m (13,123 ft)
Runway width 60 m (197 ft)
Runway shoulders 7.5 m (25 ft) x 2
Runway paved blast pads 120 m (394 ft) x 2
Taxiway width 23 m (75 ft)
Taxiway shoulders 11 m (36 ft) x 2
Cross taxiway width 30 m (98 ft)
Cross taxiway shoulders 12 m (39 ft) x 2
Large-sized aircraft stands 15 + 8 royal terminal
Medium-sized aircraft stands 5
Small-sized aircraft stands 10
Cargo aircraft stands 3 (Large)
General aviation stands 14
Helipads 2 (1 General aviation + 1 Royal terminal)

The airport is classified as Code E by ICAO which makes it designed to accommodate large aircraft such as Boeing 747-400 and A340-600. Although it may practically be possible for A380 to use the airport it is not recommended as in order to accommodate such aircraft as Airbus A380 or Boeing 747-8 it requires the airport to be Code F. Only the runways at Dammam Airport meet Code F requirements; the taxiways and gates do not. In May 2009, an Antonov 225 the world's largest aircraft landed at Dammam Airport from Ukraine whilst transporting equipment used for oil drilling and exploration to Tanzania for Schlumberger.

A road for ground support equipment (GSE) runs along the western side of the central terminal. It is designed to allow GSE to have access to aircraft and also to facilitate the movement of baggage vehicles from aircraft to baggage areas.


The two-story air cargo building is constructed on an area of 39,500 m2 (425,000 sq ft) and has a capacity of 94,000 t (93,000 long tons; 104,000 short tons) of incoming and outgoing cargo. The terminal's design allows for transforming the operation system to a fully automatic system equipped with multi-level racks and a container stacking system. When the air cargo facility becomes fully automatic, its capacity will be increased to 176,000 t (173,000 long tons; 194,000 short tons) per year.

Cargo village

To enhance its air cargo services, KFIA commenced construction of the new multi-model cargo village facility on 2012 which lasted for two years. The village was inaugurated on 6 April 2015. The cargo village is over 500,000 m2 (5,400,000 sq ft). The village offers ease of shipping and cargo services and serves as a hub for global companies, directly serving the eastern province and the rest of the kingdom. The village offers direct access to Saudi Arabia and eliminates the need to ship through neighboring countries.

Currently, DHL Express, NAQEL, SMSA Express, TNT Express, and UPS are operating as anchor tenants. Additional capacity is coming on-line and will assist the airlines and companies operating in and out of the kingdom.

Control tower

The control tower stands 85.5 m (281 ft) high, equivalent to the height of a 30-story building. The height allows visibility of all parts of the airport operations area. Its total floor area is 7,960 m2 (85,700 sq ft), and it contains the following three main sections:

Car parking

The total area of the car park is 176,752 m2 (1,902,540 sq ft), distributed among three covered floors. The parking area accommodates 4,930 cars. Two open parking areas are available beside the rental car parking area to accommodate additional cars. There are no ceiling rates.

Saudi Aramco facilities

The general aviation terminal on the east side of Dammam airport is being used exclusively by Saudi Aramco. In addition, an advanced fleet of fuel tankers provides fuel services to all types of commercial aircraft. Saudi Aramco is responsible for supplying fuel and maintaining fuel installations. These include six large tanks with a capacity of 40,000 barrels each, in addition to pumping equipment, filters, loading stations, and the distribution valve network. Saudi Aramco operates regular flights for its personnel, which originate from Dammam to cover Haradh, Tanajib, Shaybah, Hawtah, Al Ahsa, Khurais, Riyadh, Jeddah, and Yanbu, in addition to some remote pump stations, using Boeing 737 and Embraer ERJ-170LR equipment.

Nursery and landscaping

King Fahd International Airport has its own plant nursery with a total area of 215,579 m2 (2,320,470 sq ft) which encompasses three green houses and 36,400 square metres (392,000 sq ft) of green fields. The nursery supplies the airport gardens and planted areas with trees and plants.


At present, around 9.7 million passengers use King Fahd International Airport annually[26]

Statistics for King Fahd International Airport
YearTotal Passengers% InternationalPassenger GrowthTotal Cargo (tons)Commercial Aircraft MovementsMovements Growth
2001 2,542,00041% 0.4%55,08823,312 −2.5%
2002 2,578,00039% 1.4%53,02923,281 −0.1%
2003 2,613,00040% 1.4%48,63423,308 0.1%
2004 2,782,00041% 6.5%48,06523,778 2.0%
2005 3,013,00040% 8.3%49,63324,457 2.9%
2006 3,341,00043% 10.9%59,61029,162 19.2%
2007 4,092,00041% 15.0%67,42748,653 34.6%
2008 4,165,00047% 1.1%97,59650,926 3.9%
2009 4,422,00048% 6.8%83,65251,166 0.7%
2010 4,835,00052% 10.1%83,42656,156 10.8%
2011 5,531,00056% 15.3%82,83262,060 11.9%
2012 6,422,00056% 16.5%103,42167,390 9.6%
2013 7,311,00055% 19.1%121,65572,897 9.3%
2014 8,248,00054% 12.8%115,83079,284 9.8%
2015 9,407,00053% 14.0%95,32184,803 7.8%
2016 9,690,00053% 3.0%138,87090,134 6.3%
Busiest international routes at King Fahd International Airport (by number of flights weekly)
RankCityNumber of flights
1 Dubai,  United Arab Emirates 70
2 Cairo,  Egypt 34
3 Abu Dhabi,  United Arab Emirates 28
4 Bahrain,  Bahrain 28
5 Delhi,  India 21
6 Sharjah,  United Arab Emirates 18
7 Muscat,  Oman 16
8 Mumbai,  India 14
9 Istanbul,  Turkey 14

Ground transportation


The airport is connected by King Fahd Road, which is considered as the main road to the airport and the longest road in the Dammam metropolitan area.


SAPTCO offers bus service from the airport to their main stations in Dammam, Khobar, and Jubail.


The airport is served by local taxi companies and London Taxi, which provides 24-hour service and is located at the arrivals terminal. Chauffeur service is available; Uber and Careem are also available.


In August 2016, the airport authority announced that it will connect the airport to the Dammam–Jubail railway, which is currently in its last stages of construction.

See also


  1. flynas hubs, retrieved 25 March 2018
  2. KFIA project summary, retrieved 29 December 2011
  3. King Fahd International Airport, Airport Technology, retrieved 29 December 2011
  4. Craig Glenday. Guinness World Records 2013. Ed. Random House LLC, 2013. ISBN 9780345547118. P. 320
  5. Data Project Data. King Fahd International Airport. KFIA, Dammam, Eastern Province – Saudi Arabia. Total Airport Area 77,600 Hectares; Developer Areas; Total: 4,265 Hectares; Airport: 3,675 Hectares; Construction ; Support/Utility Plants: 51 Hectares; Community :80 Hectares
  6. "British Airways - Direct To Dammam As British Airways Launches Third Route To Saudi Arabia". 19 March 2019. Retrieved 9 May 2019.
  7. Gadimova, Nazrin (6 September 2019). "Azerbaijan Expands Its Airline Ties With Saudi Arabia". Caspian News. Retrieved 9 September 2019.
  8. "flyadeal launches new routes to Dammam and Al-Qassim". 24 October 2017.
  9. Flynas. "Flight Schedule". Retrieved 25 October 2017.
  10. "flynas adds Dammam – Cairo service in late-Nov 2018". 29 October 2018.
  11. "flynas to commence Dammam-Karachi service in November 2018". AACO. Retrieved 7 December 2018.
  12. "flynas plans Pakistan launch in Feb 2018". airlineroute. 17 January 2018. Retrieved 18 January 2018.
  13. Liu, Jim. "flynas W19 network expansion". Routesonline. Retrieved 13 September 2019.
  14. "Saudi Arabia's Flynas launches flights to Tbilisi from June". 13 April 2018. Retrieved 18 April 2018.
  15. "Welcome to Himalaya Airlines-Press". Retrieved 25 October 2017.
  16. Liu, Jim. "Jazeera resumes Dammam service from late-Dec 2019". Routesonline. Retrieved 17 December 2019.
  17. 2017, UBM (UK) Ltd. "KLM S17 Middle East service changes". Retrieved 25 October 2017.
  19. "Turkish LLC Pegasus launches flights to Muscat and Dammam". 20 June 2018. Retrieved 19 October 2018.
  20. Liu, Jim. "Salam Air schedules new routes in Nov 2019". Routesonline. Retrieved 13 November 2019.
  21. "SaudiGulf Airlines to launch on October 29". ch-aviation. 28 October 2016. Retrieved 28 October 2016.
  22. Liu, Jim. "SunExpress adds Trabzon – Dammam service from late-Dec 2019". Routesonline. Retrieved 24 October 2019.
  23. "Istanbul New Airport Transition Delayed Until April 5, 2019 (At The Earliest)".
  24. "Turkish Airlines adds new seasonal Saudi Arabia routes in S17". routesonline. Retrieved 9 May 2017.
  25. "Project Data, King Fahad International Airport - KFIA, Dammam - Saudi Arabia". Retrieved 25 October 2017.
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