• Prequalification closes on 8 July
  • International Finance Corporation lead adviser for the project

Saudi Arabia’s General Authority for Civil Aviation (Gaca) is seeking private investors to finance, design, build and operate a new international airport in Taif in Mecca Province. The planned airport will replace the existing domestic airport, whose expansion has been planned since 2008, but which has been put on hold.

According to Gaca, the chosen partner for the public-private partnership (PPP) project will operate and maintain the existing domestic airport until the completion of the new international airport. The World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC) has been appointed as lead adviser to assist the structuring and implementation of the project. Prequalification application for the Taif airport project closes on 8 July.

The new airport is part of the capacity building initiative in Mecca, which hosts the annual hajj pilgrimage and umrah, which can be performed at any time of year. The planned Taif International Airport will complement Mecca’s King Abdulaziz International airport, which has been undergoing an $8.2bn expansion to eventually handle up to 80 million passengers a year.

The first airport project delivered on a PPP model in Saudi Arabia became fully operational in the beginning of the month. The $1.2bn Prince Mohammad Abdulaziz airport in Medina was completed on time by Tibah, which comprises Turkey’s TAV Airports and local contracting firms Saudi Oger and Al-Rajhi Holdings.

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