EXCLUSIVE: Saudi airport to begin baggage handling installation

07 August 2018
Firms still waiting for three GCC airports to award baggage handling system packages

Saudi Arabia’s Dammam Airports Company (Daco) expects to begin the installation of a new baggage handling system (BHS) at King Fahd International airport before year-end.

“The design is being finalised and we expect to begin the installation of the new system towards the end of the year,” a source familiar with the project tells MEED.

The Netherlands’ Vanderlande won a contract to install and maintain the BHS at King Fahd International airport.

Remo Brunschwiler, Vanderlande CEO, said his company is providing BHS to all four major airports in Saudi Arabia namely, Riyadh, Medina, Jeddah and Dammam.

MEED understands Vanderlande submitted a bid for three other airport BHS systems across the region including for Dubai’s Al-Maktoum International extension, Kuwait International and the under-renovation King Khalid International in Riyadh.

However, these contracts have yet to be awarded.

Last year, Dammam awarded Spanish consultancy Ineco the contract to develop a 50-year masterplan for King Fahd International airport.

The work entails expanding all airport facilities to cater to growing passenger demand as well as the study of the connection of the airport’s cargo area with Saudi Arabia’s main rail freight line.

MEED understands the 50-year plan, which extends to 2047, will include developing a new airport city along with a cargo village.

King Fahd International is the kingdom’s third-largest airport. It trails Jeddah’s King Abdulaziz International and Riyadh’s King Khaled International in terms of annual passenger traffic.

Passenger traffic at Dammam’s airport has been growing at a compounded average of 10.7 per cent annually since 2009, reaching 9.69 million in 2016.

Dammam Airports Company was formed as part of Riyadh’s plan to privatise all airports in the kingdom and transfer airport ownership and operations from the General Authority of Civil Aviation (Gaca), Saudi Arabia’s aviation regulatory body.

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