The Presidency of Civil Aviation, in cooperation with Saudi Arabian Airlines, is considering the feasibility of establishing a new regional airport in Madinah Province at the coastal town of Dhuba, whose seaport has become a major hub for travel to Egypt and other African countries. An airport would further increase the number of passengers intending to use the seaport, which is equipped with modern shipping facilities and is now geared to receive some 50,000 passengers and 5,000 cars within the next few weeks as passengers, including Egyptian expatriate workers, return to the Kingdom and to the Gulf after their summer vacation. This year the port of Dhuba witnessed record passenger traffic with around 430,000 passengers over the past seven months - seven percent more than last year's 403,900. It also received 534 ships and handled 18,896 cars during the same period.
The most recent new airport was at Dawadmi in Riyadh Province last April. Named after Governor of Riyadh Province Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz, it is designed to handle one million passengers a year. Dawadmi, located about 150 miles west of the capital city of Riyadh, is the third civilian airport in the province and the 27th to built in the Kingdom, which has spent more than SR50 billion (U.S. $13.3 billion) on airport construction and expansion over the past two decades, including the three international airports, of which the largest, the Eastern Province's King Fahd International Airport, will have the capacity to handle 16 million passengers by 2005.