By Rob Corder
Expansion contract worth $240.8m is the first stage of plans to up capacity to 80m passengers a year.
Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Sultan has signed a SAR903m ($240.8m) contract for the development of Jeddah airport over a 36-month period, in the first stage of plans to expand the international airport to handle 80 million passengers a year.
Four new terminal buildings and a high-speed rail link are among the targets proposed for the new Jeddah international airport. The new development should take place in three stages, the first of which could be completed in five years.
The project is designed to increase the airport’s capacity initially from 13 million passengers by 30 million passengers each year.
The project includes renovation of the existing South and North Terminals and upgrades to the existing runway and airfield systems to accommodate the Airbus A380 super jumbo.
Based on current traffic increase, the existing South Terminal will need to serve about 21 million passengers per year over the next 20 years to meet growing demand. During the 2000 Haj season it received 2.6 million travellers and around one million pilgrims.
The airport has to provide the facilities required for the service of pilgrims and those who visit the country to perform Umrah.
The four new crescent-shaped passenger halls will be located to the south of the current international terminal which will be undergoing renovation at the same time.
As well as much improved road access, plans have been made for a high-speed rail link serving the airport. Starting at Prince Majed Street, the link will run into the airport and hook up with terminals.