Work on the new King Abdulaziz International Airport (KAIA) in Jeddah is about 80 per cent complete and will be operational as per schedule in 2017, said a report.
The new airport, which will come up over an area of 105 sq. km, is set to become one of the most vital modern landmarks in the city, reported Arab News.
It won an award for the world’s best airport engineering project at the 8th Annual Global Infrastructure Leadership Forum in 2015 in terms of specifications and modern technology.
Once all its phases are complete, it will handle up to 80 million passengers a year. It will feature a baggage system over 33km, 132 vertical lifts, 32 baggage screening machines, and a smart building services management system, said the report.
Passengers will have access to information on interactive screens in passenger lounges via mobile applications. It would include self-service boarding and passport checking using photographs and biometrics, it stated.
The new airport will also boast more than 22,000 parking lots for vehicles and buses, with mobile applications that can identify free parking bays, with a lighting system showing which are taken, it added.
The King Abdul Aziz International Airport in Jeddah serves as the main gateway to the Holy Cities of Makkah and Medina.
From an economic standpoint, the airport represents a vital opportunity for private participation in capital financing and operation development as well as further elaboration on an institutional reform proposal program and operational policies, said Dar Al-Handasah (Shair and Partners).
Dar has been undertaking design tasks and addressing strategic issues to integrate the expansion into the regional planning and transport system since 2007.
So far Dar the following array of responsibilities: project management; design review for LEED requirements; construction management; supervision for the KAIA phased master plan; integrated provision for a planned railway; airfield upgrading, new parallel taxiways; a control tower; state-of-the-art navigation aid and communication installations; support buildings and facilities; landscape design and utility networks; landside approaches; program coordination for a number of related projects including the fuel tank, the desalination sewage and treatment plant and upgrading of existing terminals; planning and infrastructure for a landside commercial zone; and noise and air quality modeling.