Saudi Focus

Jeddah airport to be ready by mid-2017

January 2016

Work on the new King Abdul Aziz International Airport (KAIA) project in Jeddah is progressing well and the facility is likely to be ready for international operations by the middle of 2017, said a report.

Nearly 86 per cent of the construction work is over, with the completion of the core business lounge, a 136-m-high control tower and supporting facilities, roads, bridges and infrastructure, including a complex of rain drainage network, reported the Arab News, citing senior officials of the kingdom’s General Authority for Civil Aviation (GACA).

The new airport will boast a 33-km-long conveyor belt, automated people mover to transport international passengers, and around 96 air bridges for serving aircraft of different sizes, include four to serve the Airbus 380.

It will be able to serve 70 aircraft at any given time, with all fuel and water to be supplied through underground pipes.

The project, a major milestone in the development of Jeddah, will be completed by the end of this year. This would be followed immediately by a commissioning phase and operational testing to ensure that the airport’s systems are functioning optimally and is ready to welcome the first international flights by the middle of 2017, said the report.

Almost 110 companies specialised in the operation of international airports are working on the mammoth project deploying a record 26,000 engineers and workers, and approximately 2,600 pieces of equipment and machinery, said the report.

The first phase facilities for the project include a terminal complex measuring over 720,000 sq m, allowing all airlines to operate under one roof, it stated.

There will be five lounges for first class and business class passengers, two for departing international flights and two for departing domestic flights, while the fifth is a transfer lounge between international and domestic flights, said the report.

A mosque accommodating 3,000 people with an outdoor prayer courtyard of 2,450 sq m will also be available in the new complex.

On completion, the new airport will have a capacity to accommodate at least 30 million passengers, the report added.

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