Saudi Arabia to build pilgrim airport at Taif
Tender being prepared with contract award expected in H2 of 2015
Saudi Arabia’s General Authority for Civil Aviation (GACA) has announced that it is planning to build a new international airport to serve pilgrims to Makkah in the nearby city of Taif.
The authority is preparing a tender aimed at attracting consortia of international and local companies to bid to develop the airport.
GACA aims to award the construction contract in the first half of 2015, spokesman Khaled al-Khaibani told Reuters.
He said it will be developed on a build-operate-transfer basis, in which a developer finances the construction and recoups its investment by operating the airport.
GACA's board approved the project on Wednesday and is working with the International Financing Corporation, the consulting wing of the World Bank, to help prepare the tender, the spokesman said.
Jeddah and Madinah airports currently serve the several million Hajj and Umrah pilgrims coming from abroad each year to Saudi Arabia, while the existing airport at Taif serves domestic flights.