NEWS Last modified on November 16, 2010

Jeddah expansion programme gathers pace

Saudi industrial conglomerate, the Bin Laden Group, has won two contracts worth $7.2 billion to revamp Jeddah’s King Abdulaziz International Airport, according to the state news agency.

Saudi industrial conglomerate, the Bin Laden Group, has won two contracts worth $7.2 billion to revamp Jeddah’s King Abdulaziz International Airport, according to the state news agency.

The contracts are for the first phase of a development project that will raise the airport's annual capacity to 30 million passengers, the Saudi Press Agency said.

In March, the Kingdom's General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) revealed that traffic across Saudi Arabia’s airport system had exceeded 30 million passengers for the first time in a calendar year, and with demand set to double to 60 million by 2020, the need for capacity enhancing new infrastructure is obvious.

The upgrade is expected to cost in excess of $13 billion and lead to major new facilities in Jeddah, Riyadh and Damman and the construction of five new gateways, including a possible fourth airport designed to serve the Muslim holy city of Medina.

A new 400,000sqm crescent shaped passenger terminal, 450,000 tonnes per annum capacity cargo complex, new ATC tower and railway station are the key projects of the planned revamp of Jeddah–King Abdulaziz International Airport.

HH Prince Turki Faisal Al-Saud, GACA’s vice president of international organisation affairs, says: “With further expansion, dictated by demand, the airport will eventually be equipped to handle 80 million passengers and 1.6 million tonnes of cargo yearly.”

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