Saudi plans May opening for Jeddah airport despite concession withdrawal

Last week the kingdom terminated the airport concession awarded to Singapore’s Changi Airports International and the Saudi Naval Support Company



Jeddah’s new King Abdulaziz International Airport is preparing for a soft opening in May as authorities seek a new consortium to manage the facility, according to reports.

Saudi Gazette said the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) confirmed the opening to Makkah Emir Prince Khaled Al-Faisal in a recent meeting.

Work on the airport is understood to be continuing as scheduled and will not be affected by last week’s decision to terminate the 20-year airport concession awarded to Singapore’s Changi Airports International and the Saudi Naval Support Company in April.

Read: Saudi Arabia terminates Jeddah airport concession

The GACA plans to award a new concession for the airport to local and international companies soon, according to the publication.

“This procedure [the cancellation] will not affect the time frame set for the initial opening and the experimental operation of the airport,” GACA chief Abdul Hakeem Al-Tamimi was quoted as saying.

Work on a complex of lounges, a public transport centre and station linking to the high-speed Haramain line is also nearing completion.

The GACA official also briefed the emir on the progress of a number of other regional airports.

Construction work for Gonfodah airport will be awarded to contractors in the next 60 days. The airport will span 24 million square metres north of Gonfodah.

Work on Taif’s new airport began in September and is due to be completed by 2020. It will span 48 million square metres and is expected to serve more than six million passengers annually.