Saudi Arabia’s General Authority of Civil Aviation (Gaca) has formally awarded contracts for the development of four airport public-private partnership (PPP) projects as well as the 20-year operation and management (O&M) contract for Jeddah’s King Abdulaziz International Airport.

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 the team comprising Turkey’s TAV Airports and local Al-Rajhi Holding Group.

US/Indian Synergy Consulting and UK-based Norton Rose provided financial and legal advisory to the TAV/Al-Rajhi team, respectively.

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

Once completed, the annual passenger capacity of the airports under development are:

  • Taif International: 5.8 million
  • Prince Naif bin Abdul Aziz airport (Qassim): 5.5million
  • Hail International: 4 million
  • Prince Abdul Mohsin bin Abdul Aziz airport (Yanbu): 3.7 million

The O&M contract with Changi Airports International will last for 20 years.

UK-based law firm Clifford Chance, in partnership with local AS&H Law Firm, advised Gaca on all five contracts. Hillbrook Partners, also of the UK, provided technical advisory.

Bahrain’s GIB Capital provided Gaca financial advisory on the four airport PPP projects. 

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.