Nearly 60 per cent of the work on Saudi Arabia’s new King Abdulaziz International Airport (KAIA) has been completed with the first phase expected to be ready by the middle of next year, a report said.
The new airport, which is estimated to cost around SR27 billion ($7.1 billion), will be able to serve 70 aircraft at a time once the project gets completed, reported the Saudi Gazette, citing a senior official.
Once the first phase work is finished, the airport will be able to handle 30 million passengers, stated Hisham Hariri, the project’s security and safety director.
The first phase comprises the construction of a 700,000-sq-m terminal complex enabling all airlines to operate under one roof. Spanning an area of 670,000 sq m, the complex will have two new crescent-shaped terminals for domestic and international passengers.
The new airport, once ready, will support the national air transportation system and serve as a gateway to the holy sites in and around Makkah and Madinah, he noted.
About 25,000 engineers and workers from 110 companies are currently working on the 105-sq-km airport construction site, north of Jeddah, the report said.
The airport will be able to handle 50 million passengers with the completion of the second phase and 80 million with the third phase, it added.
The new terminal will serve both Saudi and foreign carriers with international gates accessible by an automated passengers transport system. The departure lounge will have 200 check-in counters, in addition to 80 self-service counters, 46 departure gates and waiting lounges, a hotel and a modern shopping area, according to the report.
The KAIA project will boast the world’s tallest air traffic control tower, which currently stands at 136 m. Also a 7-km service tunnel will link all utility projects, including three power plants and three information centers.
The airport will also have an automated train for the transfer of passengers across the 700-m distance between the terminals and boarding gates.
Hariri pointed out that the project includes an expressway connecting Al Haramain Expressway to Madinah Road crossing over Prince Majed Road, which will be the main access road to the airport.
There will also be temporary aircraft parking space located around the terminal complex to accommodate 28 aircraft. The Haramain Train will also have a stop at the airport, he added.