Saudi Arabia plans to expand five airports across the kingdom next year, according to a spokesman for the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA).   

Khaled al-Khaibari told local media that GACA will soon begin reviewing tenders submitted by contractors for the projects involving airports in Jizan, Abha, Qassim, Arar and Jouf. 

Work on the first airport, Jizan, would entail more than quadrupling the operational area and should begin early next year, followed by Arar and Jouf airports, he said.

Passenger flow at Jouf airport will rise to one million annually after the expansion compared to 175,000 presently.

Arar airport will increase from 1,810 square metres to 7,560 square metres, while capacity will grow from 100,000 to 518,000 passengers. Capacity at Prince Naif Airport in Qassim will double from the existing 750,000 to 1.5m passengers.

Expansion of Abha Regional Airport will be implemented in two phases, with the first increasing capacity to 3.5 million passengers, then to 5 million.

Earlier this week, MEED reported that GACA has invited at least nine contracting groups to submit bids for the contract to expand the existing terminals 3 and 4 at Riyadh’s King Khalid International airport.

Gaca has set an initial deadline of 27 February 2014 for prequalified firms to submit prices for the construction scheme.

The design and build contract will involve the expansion of Terminal 3 and the unused Terminal 4, as well as additional landside work and concourses. The work will also involve the construction of aircraft aprons and stands, airport systems installations, and new utilities and services.

In February, 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 the today’s 14 million.

In May, Gaca awarded the joint venture of Turkey’s TAV and the local Al-Arrab Contracting Company the estimated SR1.5bn ($400m) contract to build the new Terminal 5 building at King Khalid International.

In July 2012, the local Al-Mabani General Contractors was awarded an estimated SR219.5m ($58.5m) contract to build a new apron at terminals 3 and 4.