Saudi Crown Prince Sultan, Deputy Premier and Minister of Defense and Aviation, signed two contracts worth SR27.1 billion to refurbish King Abdulaziz International Airport (KAIA) in Jeddah with a new terminal and infrastructure.
The contracts, which are for the first phase of the project, were signed with the Saudi Binladin Group at the Crown Prince's residence in Agadir (Morocco) this past Saturday, the Saudi Press Agency reported.
The project, to be completed over 36 months, will expand KAIA's capacity to 30 million passengers per year from the current traffic of 17 million, the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) said in a statement.
"The project is being undertaken in line with the desire of Custodian of the Two of Holy Mosques King Abdullah to improve civil aviation in the Kingdom, particularly at KAIA which is the gateway to the two holy cities of Makkah and Medina," said the crown prince following the signing ceremony.
Jeddah is the main hub for millions of Hajj and Umrah pilgrims who visit the two holy cities.
The 36-month project aims to make KAIA a hi-tech airport that can receive huge aircraft and a hub to link the East and the West providing numerous investment opportunities and jobs for Saudis, said President of General Authority of Civil Aviation Abdullah Al-Rahimi.
As part of the first contract, worth SR15.12 billion, a 670,000-square-meter terminal with 94 aircraft bays to replace the present airport traffic handling facilities will be constructed. It will also include 200 counters, an advanced luggage handling system, 46 departure gates, four first class and one business class lounges, 96 airway bridges, a 56-room hotel for transit passengers, duty-free shops and commercial centers.
As part of the second contract, worth SR11.97 billion, the world's tallest airport control tower at 133 meters, car parks to accommodate 8,200 cars, three power generation and cooling centers, data administration centers, infrastructure and road networks will be built.
The project also includes the building of tunnels, corridors, train stations, baggage handling and conveyor systems, and communications and meteorological systems. Airfield works include construction of taxiways, aprons, roads, and services and support facilities.
About 51,700 square meters inside the airport will be allocated for shops while a 6.5 square-km area outside the airport building would be set aside to implement investment projects such as hotels, hospitals, recreation centers, aircraft maintenance facilities and light aviation industries.
source: Arab News