The General Authority of Civil Aviation (Gaca) says it is reviewing designs for expanding the airport at the northern city.

Capacity at the site could be raised to around 1.5 million passengers a year in its first phase, from less than 1 million. A further expansion to 2.5 million capacity will then be considered.

The deputy governor of the Hail region, Prince Abdulaziz Bin Sa’ad Bin Abdulaziz, says the redevelopment will begin next year. He made the comment following a meeting with Gaca officials on 18 August.

The prince says the existing airport no longer has sufficient space or facilities to handle its current traffic.

Traffic at the airport is likely to rise significantly with the development of the $8bn Prince Abdulaziz Bin Mosaed Economic City nearby.