‘Popular Mechanics’, an American magazine focused on practical applications of science and engineering, takes a look at what it calls ‘The World’s 18 Strangest Airports’. King Fahd Airport, in Dammam, Saudi Arabia, is ranked #15, for being the world’s largest.

Of note, the next ranked airport, Denver, has a look close to that of the Haj Terminal at King Abdulaziz Airport in Jeddah. It’s not surprising, however, given the input of architect/engineer Horst Berger.

15: Dammam King Fahd International Airport

King Fahd International is the largest airport in the world in terms of landmass, sprawling over 300 square miles of desert. The airport is so enormous that it is actually about 11 square miles larger than Saudi Arabia’s neighbor, Bahrain.

Why It’s Unique:
Among the many features that make this airport stand out is a mosque large enough to take in thousands of people. Also notable, though not entirely uncommon in Saudi Arabia, is the Royal Terminal, which is designed to service the Royal Family and is outfitted with an elegant reception hall and a pressroom. One of the major obstacles during the construction of the airport, Schreckengast says, was the lack of fresh water to mix concrete.

February:19:2010 - 11:18 | Comments & Trackbacks (10) | Permalink
10 Responses to “Dammam Airport among World’s Strangest”
  1. 1
    Michel Said:
    February:19:2010 - 13:25 

    While Dammam Airport is the world’s largest I guess it’s also the one with the weakest passengers density (nbr of daily passengers / overall space) ; have you ever been there ? It’s almost empty every time !

  2. 2
    John Burgess Said:
    February:19:2010 - 15:18 

    I have been there. Most recently was in 2003 and I don’t think traffic has increased much.

    But if you’re looking for empty airports, the John Murtha Airport in Pennsylvania stands as a signal example of pork-barrel politics. It has perhaps two flights a week. It’s named after the Senator who came up with the money for it. He passed away about ten days ago.

  3. 3
    jay kactuz Said:
    February:20:2010 - 00:17 

    And why not Sedona airport? After all, how many airports are built on top of a hill? Actually, it is more like an aircraft carrier than an airport.

    Oh yes, “strange” and “Sedona” belong together, at least when it comes to people. They are all nuts! I had cousins there and the stories of the fights between the greens (tree-huggers) and the new-agers (vortexees) were fierce, and amusing.

    Even so, it is certainly one of the most beautiful spots on earth.

  4. 4
    John Burgess Said:
    February:20:2010 - 00:50 

    I’m familiar with a certain airstrip in Laos that seemed to have a 90-degree tilt to the surface of the earth.

  5. 5
    daisy Said:
    February:20:2010 - 01:35 

    Simla airport is built at the height of 7000 ft in the Lower Himalayas. Talking of low traffic, many times flights from Delhi to Simla get cancelled because of thick fog over the mountains or because of small number of passengers.

    Sometimes the aircraft comes till Simla and goes back to Delhi as it can’t land because of thick fog over the mountains!

    Simla too is beautiful.

    Travelling by train to Simla is a beautiful experience and hence, most people go by the train rather than by flight.

    Leh airport in Jammu & Kashmir is at 10,682 ft, with even more exotic scenery. As one gets out of the aircraft, one feels breathless because of lack of oxygen.

    Again very few passengers flying there, since travelling on surface to high altitudes is more adviseable as the body adapts to the changing environment as one ascends the mountains.

  6. 6
    daisy Said:
    February:20:2010 - 01:55 

    And of course the highest airport in the world is the Bangda airport in Tibet, at 15,548 ft. It also has the longest runway in the world at 5,500 metres. The second highest is again in Tibet – the Lhasa airport at 14,315 ft.

    The most remote airport in the world is the Mataveri airport in Easter Island, with a single runway for military and public use. It is located at 3,759 kms from San Tiago, Chile and 2,603 kms from Mangareva in Gambier Islands, French Polynesia.

    It’s rather surprising that the people involved in preparing that list didn’t think of these possibilities. It shows their short-sightedness and also perhas a lack of awareness of the world.

    And I’m not sure Sao Paolo’s claim to “strangeness” because it’s close to the city is justified. The international airport at Delhi just a few miles away from the ever-expanding city and sometimes a plane has to hover in the air for half an hour or more before finding the space to land.

  7. 7
    daisy Said:
    February:20:2010 - 02:20 

    OK, they have included Bangda airport. Only they called it Qamdo instead of Bangda, which is mentioned in the description.

  8. 8
    Me Said:
    February:23:2010 - 05:34 

    wasting money: a saudi gov specialty.

  9. 9
    Daisy Said:
    February:23:2010 - 07:14 

    It is no coincidence that in no known language does the phrase ‘As pretty as an Airport’ appear.

    Douglas Adams on http://www.cheekyquotes.com/

  10. 10
    Saudi Jeans Pinged With:
    February:27:2010 - 11:35 

    [...] Popular Mechanics correctly notes that King Fahd International Airport in Dammam is the the largest airport in the world in terms of landmass. It is so enormous that it is actually about 28.5 square kilometers larger than Bahrain. What they fail to mention though is that it’s so empty most of the time it feels more like a ghost town than an international airport. The General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) is rarely in the news, but it’s actually one of the worst performing government departments. (via jb) [...]

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