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MENAFN - Arab News - 17/12/2013

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(MENAFN - Arab News) Expansion works at five airports across the Kingdom will be taken up next year with the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) short-listing firms that had submitted tenders for the projects.
The government will start reviewing the tenders submitted by contractors in the next few days, Khaled Al-Khaibari, GACA spokesman, said, adding that the expansion works involved airports in Jazan, Abha, Qassim, Arar and Jouf.
"Financial credits have been approved to embark on expanding Jazan, and work is expected to start in the first quarter of next year," he said, adding that expansion works in Arar and Jouf airports were expected to be taken up the end of next year.
He said GACA had verified the qualifications of the contractors who submitted tenders and those who failed to qualify were ignored. All the firms that qualified to implement the projects were national contractors, with international collaborations.
Al-Khaibari said the total number of passenger flow at Jouf airport was expected to touch one million annually after the expansion, against the current capacity of 175,000 passengers. "The operational area of the airport will be expanded to 13,000 square meters from the present 2,900 square meters," he said.
Similarly, the operational area of Arar domestic airport, which is now 1,810 square meters will go up to 7,560 square meters after expansion. "The capacity of the airport will increase from 100,000 to 518,000 passengers annually," Al-Khaibari said, adding that the passengers' lounge in Prince Naif Airport in Qassim will be over an expanse of 36,000 square meters from 5,500 square meters currently.
"This will mean the airport capacity will double from the existing 750,000 to 1.5 millions," he said.
The total operational area of Abha Regional Airport will increase to 78,000 square meters after expansion from the present 9,400 square meters. "The project will be implemented in two phases, with the first phase facilitating a capacity of 3.5 million passengers annually. It will also include installation of 14 commuter concourses that will help passengers commute directly to the aircraft," he said.
The second phase will push up the capacity to five million passengers annually, he added.
Al-Khaibari said a new location for King Abdulaziz Airport in Jazan had also been identified. "The new site is vast, which can be utilized for future expansion," he said, adding that the site was ideal since it is away from residential areas, and in between the city of Jazan and Jazan Economic City. "The capacity of the airport will increase to 3.6 million passengers, with an operational area of 55,000 square meters," he said.
Saudi Arabia has 27 airports, four of them international. The government spent generously on expansion and modernization of these airports. The passenger traffic in the Kingdom stood 65 million passengers last year.

 






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