The Red Sea airport in KSA, design competition 2019 has been awarded to Foster+Partners, and the airport was scheduled to open in 2022, which aims to provide a “luxury ecotourism experience.” With a peak capacity of 900 passengers per hour, the airport is anticipated to accommodate up to 1 million tourists annually by 2030. It will serve as the first point of contact for travelers visiting The Red Sea Project resort, including a luxury marina, entertainment, recreational facilities, 50 hotels, and 1,300 residential homes spread across 22 islands and six inland locations.
The Red Sea Airport design is primarily influenced by the desert terrain’s colors and textures. The structure contains five huge dune-like pods as these pods will act as departure lounges, with a central drop-off and pick-up area. Each pod will have its spas and restaurants and the ability to function as a “mini-terminal,” allowing other areas of the airport to shut down during low demand to save energy. The airport also contains two ancillary spaces, utilized as hangars and baggage facilities, located as extended wings from either side of the main terminal. This configuration lowers overall energy demand as compared to standalone buildings.
The expediency of passenger processing and resort-level luxury are key components of the arriving experience. So that the Red Sea Resort makes an excellent first impression on the travelers once they enter the terminal area. The smaller terminal designs aim to replicate the atmosphere of a private aircraft terminal, complete with cozy seating and food rooms. The visitor’s resort experience will start as soon as they land, as they will follow the natural spatial flow through the beautiful oasis scenery to the Welcome Center, where they are greeted and welcomed to the Red Sea Resort. Then the checked baggage is transported straight to the resorts, and all security and immigration inspections will be completed quickly.
The Red Sea International Airport will aspire to run entirely on renewable energy, impose a total prohibition on single-use plastics, and maintain 100 percent net neutrality to set new norms in sustainable development throughout design, building, and operation. The entire project has already obtained the first level of LEED Platinum certification for its plans and designs. At the same time, phase 1 of work is still ongoing.
According to The Red Sea Development Co. company it wants to redefine what constitutes sustainable development. It promises to employ cutting-edge technology to monitor activities’ effects on the environment, prevent overtourism, and provide visitors with a smooth, customized experience. By 2040, it promises to offer a 30 percent net conservation benefit. To do this, the company claims to be building the biggest battery storage facility in the world, providing the site (and islands) with renewable energy every day.