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daa International to run aviation at the Red Sea Development

daa International to run aviation at the Red Sea Development

The Red Sea Development Company (TRSDC) has named daa International as the operator of the onsite airport.

The company will provide airfield and terminal operations, aviation services, facilities management and commercial activities, as well as corporate and financial services.

“Our state-of-the-art airport will provide a unique gateway for guests arriving at our destination, and this announcement is an important step in bringing the experience to life ahead of welcoming visitors by the end of 2022,” said John Pagano, chief executive of TRSDC.

“daa International was selected because we are confident that they can deliver not only an airport experience worthy of our luxury destination, but for their commitment to ensuring our sustainability goals are met.”

daa International will manage the operations of the airport during three separate stages.


Stage one will involve ensuring that all airport designs benefit the customer.

Stage two covers planning a full and seamless operational model for the airport when it opens to the public.

The final stage will be to manage and operate this plan, maintaining the highest standards in customer experience and sustainability, and prioritising safety and security.

“The Red Sea International Airport will become a fundamental part of each visitor’s journey to this unique destination, and we believe their holiday experience should start from the moment they land,” said daa International chief executive, Nick Cole.

“That is why we intend to deliver a seamless airport experience for passengers, underpinned by a commitment to achieving TRSDC’s stringent sustainability goals.”

The Red Sea International Airport is accessible by 80 per cent of the world’s population in less than eight hours and is set to serve one million passengers annually by the project’s completion in 2030, with a peak capacity of 900 passengers per hour.

Visitor numbers will be limited to one million, based on the environmental carrying capacity of the destination.

The entire transport network at the site, including the airport, will be powered by 100 per cent renewable energy.

In line with TRSDC’s commitment to set new standards in regenerative tourism, the airport is designed to include shaded areas and natural ventilation that minimizes reliance on air conditioning.

TRSDC awarded the airport design contract to international architecture firm Foster + Partners in October 2019, after it presented exciting designs that are explicitly informed by the natural Saudi landscape. 

daa International, is part of the daa Group, which operates and manages airports, and travel retail businesses in 16 countries.

The company offers advisory, management and investment services to clients globally and has operated Terminal 5 at King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh since it opened in 2016.