Work on the new SR190 million Yanbu Airport began recently after higher authorities gave the go-ahead for the project, which is expected to boost development of this industrial city.
The new airport is being constructed in an area opposite to the present one and will be ready within a year and a half from now, by the middle of 2007.
“The cost will be SR190 million as some of the expenses related to the old airport were not included in the earlier estimate,” Al-Madinah Arabic daily quoted an informed source as saying.
While he was crown prince, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah inspected a model of the new airport when he visited Yanbu last July for the launch of Yanbu-2 Industrial City. At that time, an official statement said the project which includes construction of a new passenger lounge covering an area of 8,500 sq. mt., would cost SR188 million.
The new airport will have two levels, each with an area of 10,000 sq. mt., and will have jetways to facilitate boarding of passengers. It will also have an advanced control tower and a weather forecast center.
Other facilities at the new airport include a royal lounge, a separate building for air cargo, a power station and a desalination plant. The airport will have long wide runways to enable it to receive large aircraft. The Yanbu airport will receive Haj flights during the Haj season.
Economic analysts believe that the new airport will be a shot in the arm for the city in the promotion of its industrial and economic development.
King Abdullah, when he laid the cornerstone for Yanbu-2, said it offered tremendous opportunities for both Saudi and foreign investors. The new mega-industrial city on the Red Sea is expected to attract investments worth SR115 billion.
Yanbu-2, which covers an area of 66 sq. km., is expected to house 34 basic and secondary industries and 224 light industries.
The Royal Commission will spend SR12 billion on infrastructure for Yanbu-2, of which SR6 billion will be set aside for the first phase. A SR19 billion Yansab plant of Saudi Basic Industries Corp will be established in the new industrial city.