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The privatization of Madinah Airport was chosen as "the infrastructure deal of the year" in 2012 by Project Finance International (PFI), a leading Thomson Reuters publication. The award is a prestigious recognition from the international financial community, who considers the project a landmark in the Middle East in terms of size, importance and innovation.
In addition, the project was awarded Best Transport Project by the financial magazine, World Finance, whose readers have nominated the best PPP projects in 2013.
As sub consultant to the International Finance Corporation (IFC), COWI has been lead technical advisor on the PPP transaction, which aimed to help Saudi Arabia’s General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) attract a reliable investor to expand, modernize and operate Madinah airport.
GACA's plans to revamp the airport arise from the increased demands for religious travel in the Hajj season, and also an increase in religious traffic during the year - the so called Umrah traffic.
The pilgrims travel from all over the world and are often inexperienced travelers, many of whom speak only one language - often not Arabic. A smooth processing of huge numbers of these passengers is a challenge for the design and operation of the airport.
With demand expected to double by 2020, GACA launched the ambitious plan to modernize and expand the airport with private sector participation under a long-term concession. This approach is part of GACA's overall strategy of reforming and modernizing Saudi Arabia's aviation industry.
Efficient team work with client"We had a very intensive and smooth collaboration with GACA, who was closely involved in the evaluation process," says Karen Hanne Petersen, COWI's project manager during the technical evaluation process.
"We developed a technical evaluation model with more than 200 scoring categories, and the model was commonly agreed. The technical proposals were evaluated by the Saudi team and the COWI team separately using the evaluation model. Finally, both teams spent a full week together discussing the technical proposals and calibrating our scores in the evaluation model."
Hopefully the good results from the projects and not least the good relations to GACA can pave the way for COWI's involvement in Saudi Arabia's wider plan to increase airport capacity across the region.
By Helen Marie BennettPublished 11.03.2013
Prince Mohammad Bin Adbulaziz International Airport (also known as Prince Mohammad Airport and Madinah Airport) serves the city of Madinah in western Saudi Arabia. The airport handles both domestic and international service, mostly from other countries in the Middle East and other Islamic countries. Madinah is one of Islam's holiest cities and during the Hajj season Madinah Airport has not been able to adequately cater to the growing numbers of passengers due to inadequate infrastructure.
Karen Hanne PetersenChief Project ManagerTel.: +45 5640 email@example.com
COWI has provided technical due diligence, preparation of minimum technical requirements, capital expenditures planning (CAPEX), assistance in the prequalification and bidding process and assistance in the bid evaluation and implementation of the transaction.
The General Authority of Civil Aviation of Saudi Arabia (GACA)The International Finance Corporation (IFC)Project Finance International (PFI)World Finance PPP awards 2013