In February, Saudi authorities terminated an agreement that saw a consortium of Singapore's Changi Airports International and Saudi Naval Support Company to manage the airport
A new private sector operator will be appointed for Jeddah’s airport by H2 2019, according to local media reports.
In February, Saudi Arabia’s General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) said it had terminated an agreement that allowed a consortium of Singapore’s Changi Airports International and Saudi Naval Support Company to manage the airport.
According to Arab News, Saudi authorities expect to appoint a new operator in 2019, following the “soft launch” of a new terminal at the airport in 2018.
“We wish to appoint the managing private company by the first half of 2019, but it is most likely to happen in the second half of the year,” Abdul Hakim Al-Bader, assistant to the GACA president for safety, security and transport, was quoted as saying.
Al-Bader added that the deal would not involve a sale of the airport, but rather would allow a private-sector firm or consortium to invest as partners in the facility.
“The process of privatisation has already started, but I do not think that the airport will be privatised during the first half. However, the inauguration of the airport will be complete during the first half and an operator will be selected in the second half of 2019,” he said. “The privatisation of the airport does not mean selling it to the private sector, but only opening the door for the private sector to invest in the airport and operate it.”
A record 34 million passengers transited through the airport in 2017, a 9.6 percent increase from the previous year.