The soft opening of Terminal 5 at Riyadh’s King Khalid International Airport (KKIA), which began on 22 May, is still ongoing.

The start date for the terminal’s full operation will depend on the pace of completion of pilot tests utilising a limited number of flights, according to a source familiar with the project.

It was previously reported by local media that the terminal was aiming to enter full operations on 20 June.

“It seems likely that the new terminal will enter full operations only once Terminal 3 ceases to operate,” the source tells MEED, without elaborating.

The international subsidiary of Ireland’s Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) won the five-year contract to operate and maintain (O&M) Terminal 5 in January.

Terminal 5 will effectively replace Terminal 3, which has been catering exclusively to domestic flights.

DAA is understood to have only a handful of employees on site so far and is expediting the recruitment of local staff as the new terminal approaches full operations.

The value of the multi-year contract between the General Authority of Civil Aviation (Gaca) and DAA has not been disclosed but the contract calls for Gaca to pay DAA a fixed fee per year in exchange for managing and operating Terminal 5.

The new terminal has a capacity to handle 14 million passengers annually. It was built by a joint venture of Turkey’s TAV and local Al-Arrab Contracting, which offered $430m for the contract in 2012.

Apart from the passenger terminal, the contract includes the construction of a multi-level car park and boarding bridges, among other facilities.

Terminal Type of passenger flights catered to
1 All international flights except those operated by Air France, Saudia and Nas Air (Flynas)
2 International flights of Air France, Saudia and Flynas
3* Domestic flights
4 Unused
5 Domestic flights

*Will be decommissioned once Terminal 5 enters full operation

Source: riyadh-airport.com