Saudi Arabia’s General Authority of Civil Aviation (Gaca) has extended the closing date for two major construction contracts on the SR18bn ($4.8bn) expansion of King Abdulaziz International airport in Jeddah to 29 March. The previous deadline was 8 March.  

The packages are both design and build. The first contract covers the new terminal building and the second is for infrastructure works. The terminal deal will involve designing and building a 600,000 square-metre terminal capable of handling 30 million passengers a year. The infrastructure contract is to design and build runways, tunnels and a light rail system (MEED 24:1:10).

According to sources close to the project, at least six groups have already prequalified for the contracts. They include the local Almabani General Contractors Company, Athens-based Consolidated Contractors Company, Cyprus-based Joannou & Paraskevaides, the local Saudi Binladin Group, a joint venture of Saudi Oger and South Africa’s Murray & Roberts Contractors (Middle East), and Turkey’s TAV with the local Al-Rajhi Group.

Gaca chose to change its procurement strategy to speed up the project in December. It previously planned to award one design contract and separate contracts for the construction of each element of the airport instead of awarding two larger contracts for both design and construction work.