Saudi Arabia terminates Jeddah airport concession

The General Authority of Civil Aviation awarded the contract last April

Saudi Arabia’s aviation authority has terminated a concession agreement with Singapore’s Changi Airports International and its local Saudi partner to operate the King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah, it said in a statement on Wednesday.

The General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) awarded the contract last April for a period of up to 20 years. It did not elaborate on its reason for cancelling the agreement.

Changi and its partner, the Saudi Naval Support Company, confirmed in a separate statement that the consortium had received a notice of termination from GACA.

Read: Saudi awards Jeddah airport contract to Singapore’s Changi

The companies said they had “strictly observed the request for proposal process stipulated by GACA”.

“[The consortium] submitted all required documentation for GACA’s review and had obtained all requisite approvals prior to the award of the concession”, they said.

Saudi Arabia has brought in foreign firms to manage some of its airports for the past several years as part of a broader privatisation drive, which will eventually involve selling stakes in the airports themselves.

The kingdom awarded a build, transfer and operate contract for a new airport in Medina to TAV Airports Holding and Al Rajhi Holding in 2011, then later chose the same consortium to develop and operate airports in Yanbu, Qassim and Hail.

It awarded a contract to manage and operate Riyadh airport’s new Terminal 5 to Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) in 2016.