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Sat 6 Dec 2008 04:00 AM

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Three contracts awarded to develop Saudi airports

Three contracts worth US $154 million (AED600 million) were signed by Crown Prince Sultan, deputy prime minister and minister of defence and aviation, with two major companies, Fraport of Germany and Singapore’s Changi Airports International, to manage and develop the Kingdom’s three international airports.

Three contracts worth US $154 million (AED600 million) were signed by Crown Prince Sultan, deputy prime minister and minister of defence and aviation, with two major companies, Fraport of Germany and Singapore’s Changi Airports International, to manage and develop the Kingdom’s three international airports.

Jeddah-based King Abdul Aziz International Airport (KAIA) and the Riyadh-based King Khalid International Airport will be operated by Fraport. Matthias Zieschang, member of the Fraport executive board, signed the deals worth $52 million for the Jeddah airport and $51 million for the airport in Riyadh.

Currently, the KAA airport in Jeddah can accommodate 15 million passengers a year. Once the expansion project is completed, the airport in Jeddah, which occupies an area of 105km2, will be able to accommodate 80 million passengers a year. The expansion project costs approximately $4 billion. It will also facilitate the airport to receive jumbo jets, including the A380.

The expansion of the Jeddah airport involves the construction of two new terminals and renovation of the existing south terminal and a new concourse with 25 gates.

Changi will operate the Dhahran-based King Fahad Airport (KFA). Lim Chin Beng, chairman of Changi, inked the $51 million deal for the Dammam airport.

The contract signed was for six years. During this period, the two companies will invest their technical know-how to develop the existing facilities and qualities of services.

Both companies will be responsible for daily operations and for leading several projects during the six-year contract period. However, the main focus will be on developing the three international airports and improving services, as well as on maximising sustainable traffic growth.

Abdullah Al Ruhaimy, president of the General Authority of Civil Aviation, called on the government agencies and the foreign partner companies operating in the aviation sector to work hard to make the Kingdom a world leader in aviation.

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