Development of the new airport will continue over two more phases until 2035, when it is expected to acquire the capacity to handle 70 to 80 million passengers per year, after a total spend of about SAR 43 billion (USD 11.4 billion), said Eng. Mohamed Ahmed Abed, director general of the King Abdulaziz International Airport and general supervisor of the project.
The first phase of the project includes a passenger terminal with a capacity of 30 million passengers per annum, with the capability to operate as both a domestic and an international hub.
It also includes a transportation center and a railway station to accommodate the new high-speed rail service now under construction, serving Makkah and Madinah. The entire suite of support infrastructure - an air traffic control complex and tower; systems and equipment; taxiways; airside and landside road networks; utilities networks; and service and support buildings - will also be ready by 2014, Eng. Abed said.
The first phase of the cargo village and airport city developments, driven by private sector investment, is also expected to be delivered by 2014.
The Gulf is fast becoming the centre of global aviation, with more than 85% of the world’s population within reach of a direct flight. Dubai is expected to overtake London’s Heathrow to become the world’s busiest airport by 2015.
GCC airports are expected to handle as many as 250 million passengers by 2020, with Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Doha leading the way.
By 2025 total aircraft movements in the region will reach 2.3 million, with an average annual growth rate of 7.6%.
The International Civil Aviation Organisation predicts air traffic in the region will grow 5.2% every year until 2030.
In preparation for the surge in passenger traffic, Middle East airlines are expected to increase their capacity by 12.8% this year, says the report. They are also investing heavily in new aircraft, holding one-third of the global orders for Boeing 777 and Airbus A380. Emirates already has the world’s largest Airbus A380 fleet.
The expansion also is projected to create 294,000 jobs in the next 15 years, while its contribution to GDP will increase by 6.3% annually in real terms over the next 20 years, according to Oxford Economics. The Middle East aviation industry contributed $129 billion to the region’s GDP, with the UAE alone accounting for $39.5 billion.
Across the Gulf region airports are being transformed at an unprecendented rate and Construction Week looks at the major expansions.
|The 27,000m2 transportation centre, which will be the main connecting building for the new passenger terminal at the Jeddah airport, with formwork|