Saudi Arabia says it plans to spend $666m on expanding the kingdom’s airports, reports Reuters.

The airport projects include the development and expansion of 23 airports in the kingdom that will have a combined passenger-handling capacity of 9 million passengers a year when complete.

The airport projects include the construction of the $100m Taif airport that is due for completion in 2013 and the $100m expansion of Arar airport that is located close to the Iraqi border.

Saudi Arabia’s General Authority for Civil Aviation (Gaca)  is also working on a $2bn expansion of King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah which will eventually increase capacity to 80 million passengers a year by 2035 compared to 13 million passengers a year currently.

A source closely involved with the expansion of Medina airport says that Gaca is on track to invite expressions of interest for the expansion work in the next two weeks (MEED 14:12:09).

The authority has plans to revamp the airport to increase its passenger handling capacity to 14 million people a year. The airport currently handles about 3.5 million passengers a year.

Gaca will award contracts for the construction of the Medina terminal and a possible new runway on a public-private partnership (PPP) basis.