Airport plans take off

02 June 2006

Tendering activity is gathering pace on a host of airport projects throughout the kingdom. Bids have been submitted for design consultancy and construction supervision on four upgrades, while a tender has been issued for the terminal facilities upgrade at the existing King Abdulaziz International Airport (KAIA ) terminal in Jeddah. The client on all the projects is the General Authority for Civil Aviation (GACA - MEED 17:3:06).

At least three local contractors have been invited to submit bids by 17 June for the second major construction package on the KAIA expansion project. Prequalifiers for the design-and-build terminal facilities upgrade package include Almabani General Contractors, Saudi Oger and Saudi Binladin Group, all local. An award has still to be made on the runway upgrade package, for which South Korea's Samwham Corporation submitted the low bid in December.

Also at the KAIA, GACA has extended the bid deadline to 22 June for the five-year contract to provide project and construction management services. The expansion is estimated to cost at least SR 5,625 million ($1,500 million). NACO of the Netherlands has completed a review of the original airport masterplan.

GACA is also turning its attention to regional airports. The local Markaz al-Arabi is the low bidder for construction supervision contract on the upgrade of the Tabuk airport, the country's fourth largest. The project includes construction of a two-storey terminal building, new arrival and departure lounges, a royal pavilion, a mosque and a clinic. It also calls for the construction of a bridge connecting the new terminal to the existing facility. The expansion will increase the airport's total built-up area by 12,000 square metres to about 46,000 square metres. Saudi Consolidated Engineering Company (Khatib & Alami) has completed the masterplan and redesign.

Markaz is also low bidder for the construction supervision package of the Madin Saleh airport upgrade. GACA is planning to turn the existing facility into a major airport enabling tourists to visit the ancient Nabatean city. The project includes construction of a runway capable of handling Boeing 747s, an apron, airfield lighting systems and other airside infrastructure. A local/Pakistani team of National Engineering Services Pakistan (Nespak) and Zuhair Fayez Partnership (ZFP) Consultants is the consultant. ZFP is low bidder for the design contract on the proposed expansion of the Hail airport, while Saudi Consulting Services (SaudConsult) has bid low for the design of Gurayat airport in the north. Awards on the design and supervision contracts are due by the third quarter.

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