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King Fahd Intl Airport

King Fahd International Airport
مطار الملك فهد الدولي
Satellite view of OEDF airport
Airport type Public
Operator General Authority of Civil Aviation
Serves Eastern Province, Saudi Arabia
Location Dammam
Hub for Saudi Arabian Airlines
Elevation AMSL 72 ft / 22 m
Coordinates 26°28′16″N 049°47′52″E / 26.47111°N 49.79778°E / 26.47111; 49.79778Coordinates: 26°28′16″N 049°47′52″E / 26.47111°N 49.79778°E / 26.47111; 49.79778
Direction Length Surface
ft m
16R/34L 13,124 4,000 Asphalt
16L/34R 13,124 4,000 Asphalt

Dammam King Fahd International Airport (Arabic: مطار الملك فهد الدولي‎) (IATA: DMM, ICAO: OEDF) is located 15 kilometers (about 10 miles) northwest of Dammam (Saudi Arabia). It is the largest airport in the world in terms of land area (780 km²), thus making it larger than the nearby country of Bahrain. 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. The General Authority of Civil Aviation of Saudi Arabia finally opened the new Dammam King Fahd International Airport on November 28, 1999 to commercial traffic, and all airlines transferred their operations from Dhahran airport, which had been in use until then. The new Dammam airport serves the entire Eastern Region of Saudi Arabia and in particular the growing urban complex made up of Dammam, Dhahran, Al Khobar, Qatif, Ras Tanura, while its catchment area also covers Jubail with total population of about 2 million served. The airport is the third major hub for Saudi Arabian Airlines, and furthermore was a hub for short-lived Sama Airlines.


The airport, in the Eastern Province of the country, is located between Qatif and Dammam, about 22 km away from Dammam. It is linked to population areas by two major roads, the northern exit, which used to be the only one, links the airport with Qatif as a 2-lane highway. The southern exit links the Airport with Dammam as a 3-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 Dammam-Riyadh Highway serves as a southern border.

On the airport's southern border, Saudi Aramco occupies an area of 250 km² (97 mi²) which is used for oil drilling and transportation facilities. However, the area is being claimed by many investors in order to urbanize it for residential and commercial use which if happened will utilize that strategic location, an example would be Ghannam 4 (Airport Jewel) which is the first and only urbanization attempt that had taken place before is was stopped due to involvement in the issue of Aramco Reservations which is the reason why the airport is still far away from the city.

A Sama Airlines B737 parked at the airport, bound for Medina. View from the departure lounge of the terminal.
A Sama Airlines B737 parked at the airport, bound for Medina. View from the departure lounge of the terminal.

Inside the passenger terminal
Inside the passenger terminal

Troubled history

The airport was constructed by Bechtel, completed later than scheduled and at a cost that was over what was budgeted. Bad transport roads led many locals to fly via the airport in neighboring Bahrain. The roads have since been improved. Passenger numbers have increased somewhat, but it remains a largely idle (excess capacity) airport due to significant portion of the public being used to travel via Bahrain Airport for international flights. King Fahd International Airport is fully operational throughout the year.


Passenger terminal

The passenger terminal has six storeys of which three 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 (3,519,798 ft²). Approximately 247,500 m² (2,664,067 ft²) 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. The terminal is equipped with several customer counters of which 66 were allocated to Saudi Arabian Airlines (now shared with Nas Air), 44 to foreign airlines and the rest for Customs and Immigration.

Services and amenities

Shops and other services

King Fahd International Airport was the first among Saudi Arabia's international airports to adopt duty-free markets. In addition to the spaces allocated to duty-free markets, 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. In addition, there are two Krispy Kremes in the airport located in the departure and arrival areas. Recently, as part of larger improvement plan, several shops and services were opened including smoking rooms and indoor playgrounds.

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 the mosque 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.

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 (176,528 ft²) 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 prefer to utilize a similar special terminal at Dhahran International Airport (Now King Abdulaziz Airbase).

Airlines and destinations

Airlines Destinations
Air Arabia Sharjah
Air India Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kochi, Kozhikode, Mumbai, Thiruvananthapuram
bmi London-Heathrow
Biman Bangladesh Airlines Dhaka
Cham Wings Airlines Damascus
EgyptAir Alexandria-El Nouzha, Cairo
Emirates Dubai
Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi
Felix Airways Aden, Riyan-Mukalla, Sanaa, Taiz
Garuda Indonesia Jakarta
Gulf Air Bahrain, Kathmandu
Iran Air Mashhad
Jet Airways Thiruvananthapuram
KLM Amsterdam, Doha
Kuwait Airways Kuwait
Lufthansa Frankfurt [resumes 26 October]
Lufthansa operated by PrivatAir Frankfurt [ends 23 October]
Mahan Air Mashhad, Tehran-Imam Khomeini
Malaysia Airlines Dubai, Kuala Lumpur
Middle East Airlines Beirut
Nas Air Jeddah, Riyadh
Oman Air Muscat
Pakistan International Airlines Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore
Qatar Airways Doha
Royal Jordanian Amman-Queen Alia
Saudi Arabian Airlines Abha, Al-Baha, Amman, Bangalore, Cairo, Chennai, Cochin, Delhi, Dhaka, Gassim, Islamabad, Jakarta, Jeddah, Jizan, Karachi, London-Heathrow, Lucknow, Madinah, Manila, Mashhad, Mumbai, Nejran, Riyadh, Tabuk, Taif
SriLankan Airlines Colombo
Syrian Air Aleppo, Damascus

Cargo airlines

Airlines Destinations
Air France Cargo Dubai, Hong Kong, Paris-Charles de Gaulle
British Airways World Cargo London-Stansted
Cargolux Hong Kong, Ho Chi Minh City, Luxembourg
Saudi Arabian Airlines Bangkok, Brussels, Hong Kong

Airport infrastructure


The airport has two parallel runways with a length of 4,000 meters (13,124 feet) each, in addition to taxiways parallel to the runways and a cross taxiway to connect the two runways. A distance of 2,146 meters (7,040 feet) 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 maintanance. Space has been set aside for the construction of a third parallel runway.

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.

Operations Services

There are ten main Operations Services areas providing facilities for the operation of the airport.


The two-story air cargo building is constructed on an area of 39,500 m² (425,174 ft²) and has a capacity of 94,000 metric tons (103,617 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 metric tons (194,007 tons) per year.

Control Tower

The control tower stands 85.5 meters (281 feet) 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 (85,681 ft²), and it contains the following three main sections:

  • Air traffic control level
  • Mezzanine level one, which accommodates support equipment for traffic control and communication
  • Mezzanine level two, allocated for a kitchen and toilets

Car parking

The total area of the car park is 176,752 m² (1,902,543 ft²), distributed among three covered floors. The parking area accommodates 4,930 cars. Cars enter the car park through a roadway that leads to the second floor. There is direct access to the passenger terminal from the parking on the first floor which lies under the access road with exits leading to the main roads. Parking charges are 1 Saudi Riyal per hour.

Two open parking areas are available beside the rental car parking area to accommodate additional cars.

Saudi Aramco Facilities

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 cover Dammam, Haradh, Tanajib, Shaybah, Hawtah, Al Ahsa, Khurais, Riyadh, Jeddah and Yanbu, using Boeing 737 and Dash-8 equipment.

The General Aviation terminal on the east side of Dammam airport is being used exclusively by Saudi Aramco, the 2009 statisitcs for the terminal was 273,000 passengers. In addition, an advanced fleet of fuel tankers provides fuel services to all types of commercial aircraft.

Food preparation and Catering Building

This building is a 17,287 m² (186,075 ft²), single-story in-flight catering facility, capable of producing 8,000 aircraft meals a day plus 1,000 meals for staff and 300 for the Royal Pavilion kitchen.

Nursery and landscaping

King Fahd International Airport has its own plant nursery with a total area of 215,579 square metres (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.


King Fahd International Airport consistently has over 2.5 million passengers per year and at present over 4 million passengers use the airport annually.

Statistics for King Fahd International Airport (excluding general aviation)
Year Total Passengers  % of which international Total Cargo (tons) Commercial Aircraft Movements Growth
1998 2,744,000 42% 60,075 24,158
1999 2,708,000 41% 56,968 24,216 0.24%
2000 2,533,000 42% 56,494 23,886 -1.38%
2001 2,542,000 41% 55,088 23,312 -2.46%
2002 2,578,000 39% 53,029 23,281 -0.13%
2003 2,613,000 40% 48,634 23,308 0.12%
2004 2,782,000 41% 48,065 23,778 2.02%
2005 3,013,000 40% 49,633 24,457 2.86%
2006 3,341,000 43% 59,610 29,162 19.24%
2007 3,841,000 41% 66,621 39,265 34.64%
2008 3,885,000 47% 95,862 40,776 3.85%
2009 4,149,000 48% 82,944 41,079 0.74%

2008 traffic statistics

Busiest International Routes in and out of King Fahd International Airport (2008)
Rank Airport Passengers handled  % Change
1 Cairo International Airport 234,000 29%
2 Abu Dhabi International Airport 195,000 29%
3 Dubai International Airport 175,000 4%
4 Bahrain International Airport 135,000 43%
5 Sharjah International Airport 101,000 1%
6 Doha International Airport 93,000 7%
7 Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport 70,000 42%
8 Jinnah International Airport 66,000 3%
9 Bandaranaike International Airport 63,000 3%
10 Shahjalal International Airport 62,000 6%
Countries with maximum passengers to/from King Fahd International Airport (2008)
Rank Country Passengers handled % Change
1  United Arab Emirates 471,414 12%
2  Egypt 269,865 39%
3  India 218,135 8%
4  Bahrain 135,137 43%
5  Pakistan 129,391 6%
6  Qatar 92,720 7%
7  Sri Lanka 63,442 3%
8  Bangladesh 61,736 6%
9  Iran 57,264 5%
10  Netherlands 48,838 11%

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General Info
Country Saudi Arabia
Time UTC+3
Latitude 26.471161
26° 28' 16.18" N
Longitude 49.797890
049° 47' 52.40" E
Elevation 72 feet
22 meters
Type Civil
Magnetic Variation 002° E (01/06)
Beacon Yes
Alternate Name DAMMAM
Near City Dammam
Operating Hours 24 HOUR OPERATIONS

TWR 118.2
(WEST 124.35 345.0) (EAST 118.2)
GND 121.65

ID Dimensions Surface PCN ILS
16R/34L 13124 x 197 feet
4000 x 60 meters
16L/34R 13124 x 197 feet
4000 x 60 meters

Type ID Name Channel Freq Distance From Field Bearing From Navaid
VORTAC KFA DAMMAM 072X 112.5 6.5 NM 347.6

Fuel Jet A1, without icing nhibitor.

FUEL (NC-100LL, A1)
OIL Turbine/Tubro-prop.

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