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Wed 26 Mar 2003 04:00 AM

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Contract handed out for Saudi airport construction

Joint venture between Bechtel and Dar Al Riyadh targets Jeddah airport expansion for 2010 completion.

Bechtel and Dar Al Riyadh are set to sign an agreement with Saudi Arabia’s Civil Aviation Authority awarding them lucrative construction management and supervision contracts for the expansion of King Abdulaziz International Airport (KAIA) in Jeddah.According to reports in the London-based Sharq Al Awsat newspaper on March 25, the deal, which is valued at SR5.63 billion (US $1.5 billion), will see construction beginning at the end of 2004 with a completion date set for 2010.“We are proud to continue our 30-year relationship with the PCA [Presidency of Civil Aviation] through the development of the Kingdom’s airports,” said Rudi Vercelli, managing director, Bechtel.The project will see the construction of new domestic and international terminals, the expansion of existing facilities and the establishment of 25 contact bridges for passenger use. The airport’s annual capacity is expected to rise from 13 million to 21 million passengers by 2020.Jeddah airport is one of 26 in Saudi Arabia, currently handling more than 80% of the yearly Hajj pilgrimage traffic and 40% of the Kingdom’s entire air traffic.

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