New Madina airport to handle 8m passengers
Prince Muhammad bin Abdulaziz International Airport Expansion project
10 July 2011
RIYADH – Work is under way to construct a completely new airport in Madina with a capacity to deal with eight million passengers.
The new airport will also develop the air-transport sector in the region, a high-ranking source in the General Authority for Civil Aviation told Okaz/Saudi Gazette.
“Madina Airport is one of the most important Saudi and regional airports, and among those with the highest traffic,” Dr. Faisal Al-Suqair, chairman of the GACA told Okaz/Saudi Gazette.
Prince Muhammad Bin Abdul Aziz Airport in Madina is gaining special importance in the GACA’s strategy, due to its function as a major gateway to Madina and an arrival and departure point for Haj and Umrah pilgrims, Dr. Al-Suqair said.
The importance of the airport is increasing every year due to the increasing number of pilgrims and visitors to the Prophet’s Mosque, he added.
The GACA has approved a package of modern strategies to develop the air-transport sector and industry in the Kingdom, encourage investment in the field, create investment opportunities, develop the basic apparatus to serve air transport according to the latest advanced systems and develop professional standards and criteria for operation and maintenance, Dr. Al-Suqair said.
International and local consortiums had submitted bids to win the project to construct Prince Muhammad Bin Abdul Aziz International Airport Project and the winning company will manage the complex for 25 years, he added.
The new airport, which will be the Kingdom’s fourth-largest in terms of passengers and cargo, is the first in the Kingdom that will be executed and operated through a public-private partnership, Dr. Al-Suqair said.
That arrangement is part of the General Authority for Civil Aviation’s new strategy to forge those partnerships, he added.
The private-sector company will be responsible for managing the investments and airport operations according to competitive criteria and systematic standards aimed at upgrading the aviation industry and developing the air-transport sector in the Kingdom to keep pace with the country’s comprehensive development, Dr. Al-Suqair said.