Irish firm daa International has won a major contract to manage and operate the new Terminal 5 facility at Saudi Arabia’s King Khaled International Airport (KKIA) in Riyadh.
Daa International was chosen to operate the new 106,500-sq-m terminal, which has a capacity of up to 12 million domestic passengers per year, ahead of five other international airport operators. KKIA, which is located 35 km north of Riyadh, is Saudi Arabia’s main gateway airport, welcoming a record 22.3 million passengers last year.
CEO of daa International Colm Moran signed the deal to manage and operate Riyadh’s Terminal 5 with Sulaiman Al-Hamdan, President of Regulator the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA).
“This is daa International’s first airport management contract and our intention is to build on this win by adding further significant contracts in the months and years ahead,” Moran added.
The contract, which is for an initial period of five years, comprises all terminal management services within T5. daa International will also be responsible for managing all third party commercial tenants such as airport retail and car parking within the new terminal complex.
Terminal 5, which is the flagship project of a significant investment by KKIA, is due to open later this year. T5 will replace Terminal 3 and will handle domestic flights. Domestic passenger numbers at KKIA grew by 7.4% to 11.7 million last year, and there is strong demand for additional domestic air travel within Saudi Arabia.
The contract follows GACA’s policy to privatize airports and its operations to raise the level of services to meet competition as well as cope with declining oil revenues. Furthermore, the kingdom has announced plans to privatize all 27 of the airports currently run by GACA by 2020.
Terminal 5 can accommodate 16 narrow-bodied aircraft or up to eight wide-bodied planes and has 60 check-in desks and 20 self-service check-in positions. It will have about 4,500 sq m of retail and food and beverage outlets and a new car park with spaces for about 3,000 vehicles.
The agreement to operate the new terminal in Riyadh is the second major contract award for daa’s overseas businesses in the Middle East in the past two months. In December, daa International’s sister company ARI was awarded a 10-year retail contract at Abu Dhabi International Airport’s new Midfield Terminal.
ARI, which runs travel retail businesses in 10 countries, will operate the perfume, cosmetics, skincare, sunglasses and fashion jewellery categories at the new Abu Dhabi terminal from 2017.