Saudi Arabia’s General Authority of Civil Aviation (Gaca) is extending the bid deadline to the beginning of May for prequalified firms to submit bids to develop the $1.5bn first phase of Medina International airport.

The initial deadline to submit bids was 15 December. This was then extended to 28 February (MEED 2:11:10).

The International Finance Corporation (IFC) is part of the Washington-based World Bank and is acting as lead adviser on the project. The IFC is now finalising the tender documents and plans to issue them to the prequalified bidders in the next 10 days. Bidders will then have until the beginning of May to submit their bids.

Part of the reason for the delay is the hilly terrain of Medina itself. An indepth topography study has now been carried out, says a source at the IFC.

Gaca prequalified eight consortiums to bid for the contract in June 2010. The prequalifiers include:

  • Airports Company of South Africa.
  • Turkey’s YDA, Spain’s Aena Desarrollo Internacional, Spain’s OHL Concesiones.
  • The Badr consortium comprised of Integrated Transportation Company, South Korea’s Incheon International Airport Corporation, Central Japan International Airport, South Korea’s Samsung.
  • Local Saudi Binladin Group, France’s Aeroports de Paris Management, France’s Bouygues Batiment International.
  • The Saudi airplex consortium made up of the local El-Seif Engineering Contracting Company, Ontario-based Marshall Macklin Monaghan Group (MMM),US-based Airport Development Corporation & Houston Airport System, and Dubai-based Emirates NBD.
  • Turkey’s Limak Investment, India’a GMR Infrastructure, Turkey’s Mapa Construction.
  • The Tibah consortium comprised of Turkey’s TAV Airports Holding, local Saudi Oger, local Al-Rajhi Holding Group, Athens-based Consolidated Contracting Company.
  • The Saudi-Malaysian consortium comprised of local Bakri International Energy Company, Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad, local Almabani General Contractors with Italy’s Impregilo SPA and Saudi-Malaysian Riyad Bank.

The first phase of development involves building airside and landside facilities at the airport under a long-term concession. Gaca is planning to upgrade and expand the airport to increase its passenger handling capacity to 14 million people a year. Medina airport currently handles about 3.5 million passengers annually.

The expansion is needed to accommodate the large volumes of pilgrims that visit Medina every during the hajj period in particular.