Saudi Arabia’s General Authority of Civil Aviation (Gaca) has approached consultancies to act as the contract administrator for its domestic airport upgrade programme.

The aviation authority requires an engineering firm to help manage the development and upgrade of more than a dozen domestic and regional airports in line with its multibillion-dollar airport modernisation scheme.

These include airports in Jouf, Ahsa, Najran, Qaisumah, Turaif and Rafha, among others.

In May, Gaca awarded the local Almabani General Contractors the deal for the renovation and upgrade of the Al-Wajh domestic airport in Tabuk, located in the northwestern region of Saudi Arabia.

The domestic airports programme is in addition to the upgrade of Saudi Arabia’s regional and international airports.

In early June, Gaca formally awarded contracts for the development of four airport public-private partnership (PPP) schemes.

The contract to design, develop, build and operate Taif International airport has been awarded to a team that comprises Lebanon’s Consolidated Contractors Company (CCC), Germany’s Munich Airports and the local Asyad Holding Group.

Concession agreements for the development of Qassim’s Prince Naif bin Abdul Aziz airport, Hail International airport and Yanbu’s Prince Abdul Mohsin bin Abdul Aziz airport were also signed with a team of Turkey’s TAV Airports and the local Al-Rajhi Holding Group.

All four deals are based on a 30-year build, operate and transfer (BOT) model.

All contracts are in line with Gaca’s strategy to privatise all airports in the kingdom by 2020. The strategy entails devolving ownership and management of all airport assets from Gaca to allow it to focus on its role as an independent regulatory entity for the kingdom’s aviation sector.

Progress is also being made on the upgrade of international airports. In May, MEED reported that a joint venture of Turkey’s IC Ictas and the local Al-Rashid Trading & Contracting was awarded a four-year contract to redevelop four existing terminals at King Khaled International airport in Riyadh.