Jeddah airport project on schedule

The construction of the King Abdul Aziz Airport Project is on schedule and will be completed by the end of next year, Prince Fahd bin Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, chairman of the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) announced Tuesday.
Following a tour of the project site, he said schedules were being maintained despite fewer workers because of the ongoing amnesty process. “A total of 30,000 workers including 1,250 engineers are working at the airport site,” he said.
He said 96 meters of the 135-meter air traffic control tower, the largest in the Middle East, was nearing completion. The airport lounges were also almost done, with work taking place on the interiors.
Prince Fahd said the glass facades of the building were being installed. There was also progress on the installation of a cooling system, baggage conveyor belt and power generators. In addition, a mosque with a capacity of 3,000 worshippers would soon be completed.
Prince Fahd said GACA was working closely with various government agencies and contractors to expedite the project, which would make the airport one of the largest and most advanced facilities in the region.
Construction on the existing King Abdulaziz International Airport ( KAIA ) started in 1974 and was inaugurated in 1981 with a royal terminal, Haj terminal and south and north terminals.
Since its opening, KAIA has seen a major growth in passenger traffic. KAIA is the second-busiest airport in the Middle East after Dubai in terms of passenger traffic.
Although it was originally designed to cater to 7 million passengers annually, it has been handling approximately 23 million passengers a year. KAIA alone accounts for 41 percent of the total air passenger traffic in the Kingdom. According to GACA statistics, KAIA has recorded a 16 percent increase in international passenger traffic and a 12 percent increase in Haj and Umrah flights.