FOCUS: Prince Mohammed Bin Abdulaziz Int'l Airport
by Neha Bhatia
Saudi Arabia's King Salman launched the revamped the Prince Mohammed Bin Abdulaziz International Airport in July 2015.
The 400ha airport is the first in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to be constructed and operated entirely by the private sector.
The new airport in its first phase will handle eight million passengers a year, rising to 18 million in the second phase, and then 40 million after the third and final phase.
Saudi's General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) has been operating the airport on a trial basis since April 2015.
GACA raised financing for the project by forming partnerships with Saudi and foreign companies.
The project was won by a consortium consisting of Al-Rajhi Holding Group, Saudi Oger and TAV Airports Holding.
The total investment for the first phase is $1.2bn, funded by the National Commercial Bank, Saudi British Bank, and Arab National Bank, under the supervision of the International Finance Authority, a member of the World Bank Group.
The main travelers' building covers 15.5ha, and has 72 check-in counters, of which eight are for larger size baggage, 24 counters for self-check-in services, 26 passport counters for departures and the same number for arrivals.
Seating for 4,000 people has been installed, local daily Arab News reported.
Technologically advanced services at the airport include 36 elevators, 28 escalators and 23 conveyor belts, to facilitate and speed up the movement of passengers and luggage inside the passenger terminal complex.
In addition, the new airport features local and international shops, restaurants, and cafes, banking, and transport services including buses and taxis.
Six external terminals have been built over an area of 1ha, and are close to the Haj terminal to speed up procedures.
It is the first facility in the world outside America to abide by the standards for energy use stipulated by the United States Green Building Council.