Saudi Arabia terminates Jeddah airport deal with Changi Airport Group-led consortium
File photo of King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah. (Photo: AFP / AMER HILABI)
SINGAPORE: Saudi Arabia’s aviation authority has terminated an agreement with a consortium led by Changi Airports International to operate and manage the new King Abdulaziz International Airport (KAIA) in the city of Jeddah. The General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) announced on Wednesday (Feb 21) that it will undertake a new international tendering process after an internal review. “This review raised a number of fundamental concerns that has required GACA to revisit and terminate the award of the concession to the consortium,” the aviation authority said in a statement. It also added that its actions are in accordance with the terms of the agreement.The consortium, which comprises Changi Airports International - a wholly owned subsidiary of the Changi Airport Group - and Saudi Naval Support Company, confirmed that it has received the termination notice from GACA. The termination comes as the consortium was reviewing its call for proposals for food and beverage operators at the new airport, which it said had received "overwhelming response". The deadline for submissions was supposed to be Thursday.
The consortium said in a statement on Wednesday that it was reviewing the contents of the notice.“The consortium strictly observed the request for proposal process stipulated by GACA. It submitted all required documentation for GACA’s review and had obtained all requisite approvals prior to the award of the concession,” it added. The consortium was awarded the contract to operate the new airport in April last year. The contract was to operate the airport for up to 20 years. GACA said in its statement that this decision will not impact the scheduled soft opening for the new airport in May 2018.