Phase one of the new airport, which spans a total area of four million square meters will allow for a passenger handling capacity of eight million a year, which will increase to 18 million and over 40 million passengers per annum in phase two and phase three respectively, said a report in the Gulf Daily News .
The airport was built at a cost of $1.2 billion through capital raised by the Saudi General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) from National Commercial Bank, Saudi British Bank and Arab National Bank under the supervision of the International Finance Authority, a member of the World Bank Group.
Prince Mohammad bin Abdulaziz International Airport has the distinction of being the first airport outside the US to receive the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold Certification from the US Green Building Council (USGBC).
It is also the first airport in Saudi Arabia to be constructed and operated entirely by the private sector following a BTO (Build-Transfer-Operate) agreement signed in 2012 with Tibah Airports Operations Company, a consortium consisting of TAV Airports Holding, Al Rajhi Holding and Saudi Oger.
The ownership of the airport is with GACA, which also oversees the operations of 27 other airports.
In April 2014, GACA commenced operational trials of the airport continuing until the official opening, to ensure the readiness of the airport for commercial operations.
“This new international airport is of strategic importance to Muslims all over the world – serving as the gateway to Madinah which is home to the second Haram Al Sharif, as well as to GACA – being the first of a series of new airports that we will open across the country in an effort to build a sustainable and profitable modern airport system,” GACA President Sulaiman Al Hamdan said.
“The Madinah Airport is the first in a series of airports that will be privatized to elevate passenger services and experiences,” added Al Hamdan.
The main travellers building spans 155,000 square meters and has 72 check-in counters of which eight are for large-sized baggage as well as 24 self-check-in counters in addition to 26 passport control counters at departure as well as arrival.
The airport has six external terminals strategically located within close proximity of the Haj terminal, with a total area of 10,000 square meters and seating capacity of 4,000.
It features several local and international shops, restaurants and cafés as well as banking and transportation services, including buses and taxis.
The airport also features technologically advanced passenger and baggage conveyance services with 36 elevators, 28 escalators and 23 conveyor belts, all in place to facilitate and speed up the movement of passengers and luggage inside the terminals.