By CW Staff www.constructionweekonline.com
KSA construction giants Saudi Bin Ladin Group (SBG) has won a $7.2 billion bid for the first phase of the development project of King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah.
The contracts were signed by Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz, Deputy Premier, Minister of Defense and Aviation, Inspector General and the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Civil Aviation Authority.
The Crown Prince said that the Civil Aviation Authority had recently seen a shift in organisational and administrative structure where the international airports became strategic business units to be converted to state-owned independent public companies which will work on a commercial basis.
Prince Sultan highlighted that the Kingdom’s airports has seen many programs of construction and development projects such as the development of Tabuk Regional Airport, Prince Abdulmohsen bin Abdulaziz in Yanbu, Bisha Airport as well as other airports.
The King Abdulaziz International Airport Development Project will be developed in three phases. Phase one – which includes the overhaul and construction of two passenger terminals, construction of a general aviation terminal, desalination plant and other facilities – is scheduled for completion in 2013, while phase 3 is scheduled for 2035.
The two contracts signed by SBG include a $4b agreement to build a a 670,000m2 terminal with 94 aircraft bays an 42 departure gates, 200 counters, an advanced luggage handling system, 46 departure gates, four first class and one business class lounges, 96 airway bridges, a 56-room hotel for transit passengers, duty-free shops and commercial centres.
The $3.2b second contract covers the construction of the world’s tallest control tower (133m), car parks for 8200 vehicles, three power plant and cooling centres and other associated airport infrastructure.
A futher five hectares will be set aside for shops, while a larger 6.5km2 area will be resereved for the later development of hotels, aircraft maintenance, hospitals and light aviation industries.
Unlike the rest of the GCC, Saudi Arabia’s primary target is to meet demand from religious tourist on the Hajj and Umrah pilgrimages. Jeddah acts as the gateway to the holy cities of Makkah and Madinah, with approximately 2.5 million visitors during the Hajj period alone. Up to seven million perform the Umrah over the course of a year.
The airport project is just one of a number of projects throughout the GCC aimed at imporving international travel to the Middle East. Earlier this year, Dubai’s gigantic Al Maktoum International Airport began accepting cargo flights, while major developments are taking place in Oman, Qatar, Sharjah, Dubai’s existing international airport, Abu Dhabi, Iraq and Kuwait.