Saudi Arabia’s General Authority for Civil Aviation (Gaca) is still evaluating bids for the contract to project manage the planned expansion of King Khalid International airport in Riyadh.

Gaca received bids from at least seven groups for the project management deal on 10 July. The US’ Parsons International’s SR270m ($72m) bid was almost 6 per cent lower than the second-lowest price of SR286m, submitted by the US’ Aecom and South Korea’s Incheon International Airport Corporation. The US’ Hill International submitted the third-lowest bid of SR291m.

According to sources in Riyadh, the firms are still waiting for Gaca to make a decision and award the contract. Gaca is also still evaluating bids for the design contract for the expansion scheme.

The expansion is expected to increase the airport’s annual capacity to about 24 million passengers from the current 14 million. The scheme will involve renovating the existing Terminal 3 and the currently unused Terminal 4, as well as adding four new concourses – A, B, C and D.

The project will also involve building new aprons. Gaca recently awarded the local Al-Mabani General Contractors an estimated SR219.5m contract to build a new apron at the King Khalid International Airport. The work will involve the construction of an apron at Terminal 3 and the future Terminal 4.

King Khalid International airport is located about 35 kilometres north of the capital. The Riyadh scheme is part of Saudi Arabia’s wider plan to increase the capacity of airports throughout the kingdom.

Gaca is also undertaking a large expansion project at the King Abdulaziz International airport in Jeddah. In April, Saudia Aerospace Engineering Industries (SAEI) awarded a consortium led by Turkey’s TAV Construction an estimated $800m contract to build its aircraft maintenance, repair and operation (MRO) facility at the Jeddah airport.

The main construction packages on the Jeddah airport expansion project were awarded to the local Saudi Binladin Group in 2010.