(MENAFN - Arab News) About 40 percent of work on King Abdulaziz International Airport expansion project has been completed, said a top official.
"We want to complete the project on time by deploying more workers,"
Prince Fahd bin Abdullah, president of the General Authority of Civil Aviation, told reporters after inspecting the project.
He said 18,500 workers currently involved in the project. They include supervisors and technicians in addition to 1,800 engineers.
Prince Fahd said the number of workers would increase to 30,000 when the project reaches new phases.
He commended the work of contractors saying it was in line with the plan.
"There is good coordination with Jeddah Mayoralty to improve the airport's southern entrance in a way that would impress visitors," the prince said, adding that GACA would develop areas around the airport.
Prince Fahd said GACA would go ahead with expansion and renovation of the Kingdom's airports to meet the country's development requirements and increasing numbers of passengers and pilgrims.
GACA wants to invest SR 200 billion on air transport industry over five years.
The new Jeddah airport is expected to be operational next year.
Its capacity will also increase from 30 million passengers a year. The KAIA expansion project is estimated to cost SR 27 billion.
The capacity of KAIA will rise to 80 million passengers in 20 years to meet future needs.
The new Jeddah airport is designed to become one of the largest hubs in the world.
The new airport, covering an area of 670,000 square meters, will consist of 82 domestic, international and VIP lounges in addition to 96 air bridges.