Saudi Arabia’s General Authority of Civil Aviation (Gaca) has extended the bid deadline to 28 February 2011 for prequalified firms to submit bids to develop the $1.5bn first phase of Medina airport.

The initial deadline to submit bids was 15 December (MEED 19:8:10).

“The [deadline] is extended to give more time to the consortiums to do their due diligence on site,” says a source at the International Finance Corporation (IFC).

The IFC is part of the Washington-based World Bank and is acting as the lead adviser to Gaca on the airport expansion.

In June, Gaca prequalified eight consortiums to bid for the contract to develop the first phase of the airport at Medina, which will be carried out on a public-private partnership basis.

The prequalified groups are:

  • 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.

Later expansion plans involve the construction of a new passenger terminal, the renovation of the existing runway, the possible construction of a second runway and will be split across two phases. The project could cost a total of SR9bn ($2.4bn) to develop.