New Madinah airport to be ready by 2015

Privatizing airports is among several initiatives suggested in the GACA report on modernizing the Kingdom's airports.

Privatizing airports is among several initiatives suggested in the GACA report on modernizing the Kingdom’s airports.

Madinah Gov. Prince Faisal bin Salman reiterated the importance of completing expansion works on the Prince Muhammad bin Abdulaziz International Airport on time during his latest inspection visit, where he was briefed on the progress made thus far.

Prince Faisal also inspected a prototype model of the project and was keyed in on pivotal aspects of the project by Muhammad Al-Fadel, the airport’s general director.

Al-Fadel said that 83 percent of construction has so far been completed. “The first phase of the project will be completed in early January 2015,” he said.

The said the airport would accommodate nearly eight million travellers annually once it operates.

Madinah receives an estimated 11 million visitors per year. Aviation traffic is slated to increase by 27 percent with the new expansion.

“Upcoming phases include increasing airport capacity to 14 million passengers a year, while the third phase will see the premises accommodate almost 27 million people,” he said.

Prince Faisal bin Salman also discussed technical aspects of the project with engineers.

The new airport is poised to drastically enhance the city’s economy, increasing commercial trade to more than SR400 million.

The new airport also will accommodate major airliners, including Turkish Airlines, Flynas and Emirates Airlines. Madinah Airport is considered the third most important gateway to the Kingdom and the second most important airport during the Haj and Umrah pilgrimage seasons.

Construction and expansion efforts are made under the direct supervision of the chairman of the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA).

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