Jeddah airport expansion on track despite lack of workers

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Construction of a massive expansion at King Abdul Aziz Airport in Jeddah is on track despite a reduction in labourers due to the kingdom’s amnesty, chairman of the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) has said.

The first phase of King Abdul Aziz Airport Project is due to be completed by the end of next year, with a final capacity of 70-80m passengers by 2035.

The existing airport is the second-busiest in the Middle East after Dubai with 23m passengers annually. It was originally designed to cater for only 7m.

GACA chairman Prince Fahd bin Abdullah bin Abdulaziz said 30,000 workers, including 1250 engineers are working at the airport site.

GACA was working closely with various government agencies and contractors to speed up the project, which would make the airport one of the largest and most advanced facilities in the region.

He said 96m of the 135m air traffic control tower, which will be the largest in the Middle East, and the airport lounges were almost completed.

Prince Fahd said the glass facades of the building were being installed and there was progress on the installation of a cooling system, baggage conveyor belt and power generators.

A mosque with a capacity of 3000 worshippers also would soon be completed.

King Abdulaziz International Airport, which opened in 1981, has experienced enormous growth in passenger traffic. According to GACA, the airport had recorded a 16 percent increase in international passenger traffic and a 12 percent increase in Haj and Umrah flights in the past year.

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