Crown Prince Sultan Bin Abdul Aziz laid the foundation stone in the beginning of 2011 and Saudi Bin Laden Group's engineers and workers are working on the huge project, which involves installation of the latest systems and technologies, and building integrated facilities for the convenience and requirements of passengers and airlines.
The project will improve the services provided to passengers, Makkah visitors and pilgrims disembarking in Jeddah, and support the economic structure of Makkah Province by providing many private-sector investment opportunities and jobs.
Expected to increase the capacity of Jeddah airport to 30 million passengers a year, the project includes establishing 4 terminals totaling 670,000 sq. meters in area, 200 counters, a luggage system equipped with the latest security systems, 96 jet bridges, 47 gates, four first- and business-class lounges, a transportation center with a Haramain Train station and the 133-meter world's highest control tower. Other facilities include a duty-free market, a hotel and other backup services and facilities.
The project comes in a time when the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) has taken significant steps toward becoming an independent entity.
Through its partnerships with the private sector, the GACA executed the project to develop and operate the airport's Haj and Umrah Terminal Complex, which was constructed to accommodate the expected numbers of pilgrims for the next 20 years.
The GACA has also implemented a comprehensive plan to develop domestic airports to keep pace with the increasing demand.
The plan, with a cost of about SR3.5 billion, includes 34 new airports and projects to improve existing facilities.
Source: The Saudi Gazette