Saudi Arabia’s General Authority of Civil Aviation (Gaca), has awarded a SR302m ($80m) contract to local Jawdat Contracting to expand the domestic Arar airport.

Gaca received bids from about 12 contractors in June 2012 for the construction of the airport, which is located in the north of Saudi Arabia, close to the Iraq border. The local Al-Arrab Contracting Company was the low bidder for the contract.

The expansion scheme will involve the construction of a new main terminal building, administration building and a crash and fire building. The contract will also involve constructing a main electrical station building and all of the external works.

The Arar airport currently services about 140,000 passengers a year and the expansion is part of the kingdom’s efforts to develop the area’s economy.

Saudi Arabia is spending billions of dollars on the construction and expansion of airports across the kingdom.

Earlier in May, Gaca awarded an estimated SR2.5bn ($667m) contract to a local consortium for the construction of the new King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz airport in Jizan.

The consortium, which consists of Saudi/Lebanese Modern Construction Company, Safari and Al-Subaie, will build a three-storey passenger terminal, a control tower, air cargo zones and other facilities. The terminal will have 10 gates and a VIP lounge.

In February, the local Al-Jaber submitted a low bid of SR1.8bn for the contract to build the new Abha airport. Al-Jaber’s price is about 5 per cent lower than the second-lowest price of SR1.9bn submitted by the local Almabani General Contractors. The third-lowest bidder is Kuwait First Group, with a price of SR2bn. The new terminal will cover a total area of 80,000 square metres and have 21 passenger gates.

In March, Gaca issued two tenders for the redesign of seven domestic airports as part of an ongoing expansion of airports across the kingdom.

The scope of work includes the design of new passenger terminals, runways, aprons, control towers, maintenance buildings, VIP lounges and landscaping.

The redesign of the seven airports has been split into two separate contracts. The first tender is for design work at Al-Ahsa, Al-Wajh, Sharurah and Wadi al-Dawasir airports.

The second tender is for the redesign of Qaisumah, Rafha and Turaif airports.

Gaca has also extended the bid deadlines for two other expansion projects of domestic airports in the country.

The first tender is for the expansion of Al-Jouf airport, which will involve the construction of a new terminal building along with other airport infrastructure, such as a control tower, car parks and a mosque. The deadline for bids, which initially had been set at 25 March, has now been extended to 17 June.

The second tender is for the upgrade of the airside of King Fahad International airport in Dammam. The scope of work includes upgrading runways, taxiways, control tower, maintenance buildings and landscaping. The deadline for bids, which was initially 1 May, has been extended to 28 May.

A much larger project is King Khalid International airport. In 2013, Gaca invited nine contracting groups to bid for the contract to expand the existing terminals 3 and 4 at the airport in Riyadh. The tender closing date was 27 February.

In February 2013, the local arm of US-based Aecom, Aecom Arabia, was appointed to project manage the expansion scheme. The work aims to increase the airport’s annual capacity to 24 million passengers from 14 million today.