By Jumana Abdell-Razzaq
Jeddah’s $7.2bn King Abdulaziz International Airport (KAIA) will start experimental operations in the beginning of next year
Jeddah’s $7.2bn (SR27bn) King Abdulaziz International Airport (KAIA) will start experimental operations in the beginning of next year.
The first phase of the KAIA expansion will handle 30 million passengers per annum and is currently employing 21,000 engineers and workers from 110 companies, Construction Week reports.
The new airport will have one of the tallest control towers in the world at a height of 136 metres and will boast smart and environmentally-friendly features.
Ibrahim Mandoura, director general (planning and studies) of the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA), said: “With the completion of the second phase, the airport will be able to handle 55 million passengers, and 100 million following the third and final phase.
“So far 88% of the works have been completed and the airport would serve 36.5% of the total passengers using Saudi airports.”
The new airport will be one of the largest in the Middle East and is expected to employee thousands of Saudi nationals upon completion.
The project includes the construction of two new terminals across an area of 810,000m2 which will cater to both domestic and international passengers and allow all airlines to operate under one roof.
It will also include passenger lounges, a new concourse building with 25 additional passenger bridges and connector buildings linking the terminals, air bridges and movable gates, apron and taxiway modifications and extensions, electrical and mechanical systems and extension.
The terminal is linked with parking areas, Haramain station, metro station, taxi and bus stations.
“The active involvement of Makkah Emirate, Ministry of Transport, and Jeddah Governorate in implementing giant projects such as Haramain Speed Rail, and flyovers connecting airport with main highways, has enabled GACA to go ahead vigorously with the completion works on a time-bound basis,” Mandoura added.