The Defence & Aviation Ministry is expected to issue an international tender early next year for the $530 million expansion of King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah. The contract will include construction of two new passenger terminals for international and domestic flights alongside the existing south terminal, which is run by Saudi Arabian Airlines. The successful contractor will also be responsible for the renovation of the Saudi airline's station hall, construction of a moveable docking pier with 32 passenger gangways, and construction of new car parks. The north terminal, which handles international flights, will be converted into an administrative building.
Netherlands Airport Consultants (NACO)has prepared designs for the expansion according to a $24 million contract awarded in November 2000. The ministry has approved the final designs, but is understood to be considering the additional upgrade of two runways before inviting bids for the construction contract. Work on the expansion is expected to start in the middle of 2002 and to last four years. The airport, which was originally built by Germany's Hochtief, is Saudi Arabia's busiest, handling more than 16 million passengers a year and about 150,000 tonnes of air cargo. The south terminal expansion will push capacity up to 21 million passengers a year (MEED 10:11:00).