It is a major coup for the international operations and investment subsidiary of Irish operator, DAA.
When the new 106,500sqm domestic terminal opens later this year it will have the capacity to accommodate up to 12 million passengers per annum.
KKIA, which is located 35 kilometres north of Riyadh, handled a record 22.3 million passengers in 2015 to cement its status as Saudi Arabia’s busiest gateway.
“We are delighted to have won this highly significant contract at King Khaled International Airport and we look forward to providing a fantastic travel experience for passengers,” says daa International chief executive, Colm Moran.
“This is daa International’s first airport management contract and our intention is to build on this win by adding further significant contracts in the months and years ahead."
Saudi Arabia’s General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) awarded the management contract to daa International following a competitive tender process against that included high profile airport operators from Europe, Asia and Africa.
“We are proud to have been selected ahead of such formidable competition, and we will work closely with GACA to ensure that daa International more than delivers on its commitments to provide a world class product to customers and also to generate significant commercial revenues at T5,” adds Moran.
While GACA president, Sulaiman Al Hamdan, comments: “This is the first project of its kind for GACA and we are very excited to be working with daa International who submitted a very attractive and competitive bid for managing and operating this brand new terminal at KKIA."
The contract, which is for an initial period of five years, comprises all terminal management services within T5.
Daa International will also be responsible for managing all third party commercial tenants such as airport retail and car parking within the new terminal complex.
As a result the company will have a team of 15 people in Riyadh, who will comprise the senior management team for T5, and lead a core operations staff of about 90 people.
It will also manage an additional 250 employees working in facilities management and cleaning, who will be employed by subcontractors to GACA.
The company lists its three main strands of business as being operations management, advisory services and training, which is carried out by the Dublin International Aviation Training Academy (DIATA).
Terminal 5, which is the flagship project of a significant investment by KKIA, will replace Terminal 3 and exclusively handle domestic flights.
Domestic passenger numbers at KKIA grew by 7.4% to 11.7 million last year, and there is strong demand for additional domestic air travel within Saudi Arabia.
When it opens T5 will be able to accommodate 16 narrow-bodied aircraft or up to eight wide-bodied planes and boast 60 check-in desks and 20 self-service check-in positions.
It will also have about 4,500 sq metres of retail and food and beverage outlets and a new car park with spaces for about 3,000 vehicles.
The agreement to operate the new terminal in Riyadh is the second major contract award for daa’s overseas businesses in the Middle East in the past two months as in December, daa International’s sister company ARI, was awarded a 10-year retail contract at Abu Dhabi International Airport’s new Midfield Terminal.
ARI, which runs travel retail businesses in 10 countries, will operate the perfume, cosmetics, skincare, sunglasses and fashion jewellery categories at the new Abu Dhabi terminal from 2017.