New Jeddah airport’s soft opening in May: GACA


Okaz/Saudi Gazette

JEDDAH — The new King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah will have a soft opening in May, the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) has confirmed to Makkah Emir Prince Khaled Al-Faisal.

During a recent meeting, GACA chief Abdul Hakeem Al-Tamimi told Prince Khaled Al-Faisal that the authority was committed to this date.

He told the emir that work on the project was continuing according to schedule and that the management and operation of the airport will soon be offered to local and international companies.

During the meeting, Prince Khaled Al-Faisal was briefed on the progress of work at the airport including the complex of lounges, the public transport center and the station of the Haramain Train which links the airport to Makkah, Madinah and Rabigh.

Tamimi said GACA recently cancelled contracts with the consortium of Changi Airports International and the Saudi Naval Support Company to manage and operate the airport.

“This procedure will not affect the time frame set for the initial opening and the experimental operation of the airport,” he added.

The meeting also discussed the Gonfodah airport which will be offered to contractors within 60 days. GACA has already received the land of the project to the north of the town with an area of 24 million square meters.

Prince Khaled Al-Faisal was also briefed on the progress of work at Taif’s new airport. Work started in September and is expected to be completed by 2020.

The airport, which is about 40 km to the northeast of Taif and 117 km from Makkah, has an area of 48 million square meters and is expected to serve more than six million passengers annually in addition to 1.5 million pilgrims who will be using the Haj and Umrah Terminal annexed to the airport.