JEDDAH: P.K. ABDUL GHAFOUR
Published — Saturday 25 May 2013
Last update 31 May 2013 8:40 pm
The new expansion plan for Riyadh’s King Khaled International Airport aims at increasing its capacity from 12 million to 35 million, said Khaled Al-Khaibary, spokesman of the General Authority for Civil Aviation.
He said the project that includes construction of a new terminal (No. 5) and development of an existing closed terminal (No. 4) would be completed in five years.
He also disclosed plans to privatize the airport.
The No. 4 terminal was not provided with the required facilities, Al-Khaibary said while explaining the reason for constructing a new terminal. “KKIA has not witnessed any development since its establishment 30 years ago.”
Last year 17.7 million passengers used the airport, he said stressing the need to expand it.
The airport will be linked with the city’s new metro system and the GACA has reached an agreement with Riyadh Development Authority for the purpose. “The metro will help passengers reach the city center quickly and comfortably,” Al-Khaibary said, adding that spots have been allocated in the project for the metro lines.
Saudi Railway Company will construct the main railway station on the southeastern part of the airport to be linked with the terminal through the metro system.
He said the development of the closed terminal would lead to increasing the airport’s capacity to 18 million if used for domestic flights and 15 million if used for international flights. “The airport’s expansion was required to meet the needs of increasing number of passengers,” the spokesman said.
He said GACA would publish project details on its website following the completion of designs after Ramadan (mid August).
“We are working rapidly for the privatization of KKIA, which will operate independently from GACA on the basis of competitive standards to extend better services to customers including passengers and airlines,” he said.