Dorsch Gruppe
Medina terminal is set to be Saudi Arabia's first privatized airport project.
Six global teams are vying for the estimated $6.8-billion Midfield Airport Terminal project in Abu Dhabi.

One of the Persian Gulf region's first public-private-partnership contracts—and the first for an airport in Saudi Arabia—has been awarded to a consortium led by Istanbul-based TAV Airports Holding AS and its local partners, Al Rajhi Holding Group and Saudi Oger Ltd.

The consortium’s estimated $1-billion to $1.5-billion investment to expand the 30-year-old Prince Mohammad Bin Abdulaziz International Airport in Medina will be recouped through a concession to operate the airport until 2037.

Plans for the airport aim to more than quadruple annual passenger capacity to 16 million from the current 3.3 million by increasing the capacity of the existing facilities, construction of a new passenger terminal, renovation of the current runway and construction of a second one. According to the deal, sitework will begin in the first half of 2012 and be completed in three years, with construction of the new passenger terminals to start in 2015.

The Abu Dhabi-based unit of German consulting firm Dorsch Gruppe, Offenbach am Main, designed the new terminal as a steel-and-glass building featuring an open-web girder roof in a curved design with a cross section that resembles the beating of a large bird's wings.

As the gateway to the Muslim holy site in Medina, the international airport will serve as an entry-exit hub for the millions of pilgrims and visitors who travel to the city each year. The airport expansion under a PPP contract is part of Saudi Arabia's wider plan to develop more than $10.5 billion of airport projects.

Recently, all civil aviation duties have been transferred from the country's defense ministry to its General Authority for Civil Aviation, which is under the prime minister's direct control.

Elsewhere in the Gulf, six prequalified teams have submitted bids to Abu Dhabi Airports Co. to expand the emirate's Midfield Airport Terminal project. The project value was not released, but it has been estimated at $6.8 billion, according to published reports.

The submitting teams are Al Habtoor-Murray and Roberts-Hochtief; Bechtel-ENKA-Al Jaber Group; Hyundai Engineering and Construction Co. Ltd-Kumho Industrial Co.-China State Construction Engineering Corp.-Al Shafar joint venture; Larsen Toubro-NPC-Joannou and Paraskevaides (Overseas) Ltd.; Samsung-ACC-Six Construct; and TAV-CCC-ATC.

The Midfield Airport Terminal complex, intended to serve an estimated 27 million to 40 million people per year, is a key part of the government’s Plan Abu Dhabi 2030—a framework for the emirate’s future development and projected population growth.

Designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates, New York City, the terminal building will be between 630,000 and 702,369 sq meters.  The project is set to include sustainability features such as site-wide energy management, minimized potable water use, a high-performance thermal envelope and dry-climate landscaping.