King Abdulaziz International Airport

Myles Finger
Jeddah’s King Abdulaziz International Airport is forecast to see a four-fold surge in annual passenger capacity to 80 million by 2035. An ambitious expansion plan has been put in place to cater for the increased demand.

The new King Abdulaziz International Airport (KAIA) project represents a landmark economic development for the region, capitalising on the Kingdom’s ambitious strategic growth plans. The project will position the airport as an international hub, supporting the national air transportation system and enhancing service as the gateway to the region. The multi-billion dollar project covers 105 square kilometres of land and comprises over 20 new building facilities.

Religious tourism brings approximately 2.5 million people to Makkah during the Hajj annual pilgrimage period alone, and this is projected to rise to four million in the next few years, further increasing demand for improved airport capacity. The plans include a High Speed rail link and Light Rail Transit connections to allow better access to major cities including Makkah and Madinah.

The project will position the airport as an international hub, supporting the national air transportation system and enhancing service as the gateway to the region.

Phase one, undertaken by Saudi Binladin Group, will take capacity to 30 million passengers per annum. A new terminal building (projected to open in 2014) houses 46 gates, 96 boarding bridges, 200 check-in desks and 80 self-service check-ins. The air traffic control tower will be the world’s tallest at 136 metres. The global aviation sector has seen an increased trend towards non-aeronautical revenues, and KAIA is no exception. The plans include the development of Airport City, incorporating destination high end retail shops, hotels and restaurants. A mosque with an iconic minaret will accommodate over 2,000 worshippers.

There will also be a transportation centre with aquarium, together with leisure, education and commercial developments. Saudi Arabia’s strategic plan to increase the number of domestic airports and improve air transportation across the Kingdom was given a further boost in October 2012 as the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) confirmed plans to build three new airports in Jazan, Abha and Al Qasim. This is expected to add capacity for a further 7.3 million more passengers each year.

Working as an extension of the client’s team, we are responsible for construction planning and sequencing to ensure the project is delivered on time and to budget.

Faithful+Gould is providing cost and programme management services for the KAIA expansion. Working as an extension of the client’s team, we are responsible for construction planning and sequencing to ensure the project is delivered on time and to budget. We have significant expertise in the transportation sector. In the aviation sector we have worked on Dubai International airport, and Salalah and Muscat airports in Oman. Further afield, our US portfolio includes Sacramento, San Francisco, JFK New York, Newark, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles and Atlanta airports. In Europe our experience includes Madrid Barajas, London Heathrow, London Gatwick, London Stansted, London City, London Luton, Birmingham International and Manchester airports.

Our global experience covers airside/landside infrastructure, baggage handling, major termini, terminal refurbishment and extensions, piers, people movers, major infrastructure, runways and apron works, surface access, airport systems, aircraft maintenance facilities, fuelling facilities and non-operational property. We have been active in the Middle East for 18 years, with offices across the GCC and a permanent presence in Saudi Arabia since 2009. With 100 staff based in offices in Riyadh, Jeddah and Al Khobar, we provide a strong suite of project management, cost management and consultancy services to clients throughout the Kingdom.