The master plan study was guided by the need to increase the number of aircraft stands on the airside, and to provide generous areas on the landside to cater to the high visitor-to-passenger ratio. The study was for the airport to serve a capacity of 4.5 million passengers per annum.
The design took into consideration the Haj season, which had a significant impact on the operations of the airport. The objective was to have a facility that will optimize available land for development, and to increase the capacity of airport runway systems for aircraft movement. The protocol-critical functional and operational requirements of the Royal Pavilion and Royal Annex also had to be met in a manner to allow its operations to be smooth and secure.