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General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA)


King Abdulaziz International Airport (KAIA) is located in the city of Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. KAIA operations began in the early 1980’s and it has been the most dynamic and fastest growing airport in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia ever since.

KAIA was undergoing a major expansion to its existing infrastructure and facilities to cope with increasing demand. The centrepiece of the infrastructure expansion programme is the redevelopment of an international passenger terminal of more than 800,000 m². The update will take place in three phases, with a target capacity of more than 80 million passengers per annum by 2035.

Key features of the new terminal include 46 gates, 84 boarding bridges, an automated people mover and a hotel.

Egis was appointed to support GACA with the successful opening of the new terminal by developing the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and Operations Manuals of KAIA airport, in order to:

  • Meet the expected requirements of compliance with applicable regulations, in time for the planned opening.
  • Set the guidance to provide standards of service that can be measured and that are acceptable to passengers and other stakeholders.
  • Enable the new operator to get up to speed quickly.

The project was to be completed within an ambitious one-year period whilst the new terminal was still being constructed and before an operator was appointed. This meant that a lot of infrastructure and concepts of operation were not in place, and similarly, key staff were not in place. Frequent communication with all stakeholders from the current operation was therefore essential alongside drawing on best practice.

Role of Egis

Our role was to prepare the draft documents for the new operator. We assembled a team of international experts from across Egis worldwide as well as managing sub-contracted companies and individuals with additional specialist skills. 

The required documentation was split into different areas to ensure that the operation was covered by appropriate experts. Our experts worked closely together on-site with the current operator and staff, along with the designers and constructors of the new terminal, the regulatory authority and other stakeholders including government agencies and the current ground handler.

At a high level the documentation consisted of:

  • Development of Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) of King Abdulaziz International Airport (KAIA)
  • Development of Operation Manuals (OM)
  • Review of Operations and Maintenance Manuals (O&MMs)

Multiple data and information gathering meetings, workshops and presentations took place covering, for example:

  • Airside operation – to create an updated Aerodrome Manual, Emergency Response Plan, Safety Management System and the associated SOPs, many of which are required for airport certification such as operation during low visibility operation. 
  • Apron operation – to specify all the processes for the safe operation of the apron covering the new apron control processes, vehicle movements and co-ordination between the airport and the ground handling operation.
  • Security – along with the SOPs regarding passenger, staff, crew, cargo and goods security. This required the creation of a new airport Security Plan and therefore had a number of sensitivities and government stakeholders to take into account.  This plan also needed to be written in Arabic.
  • Terminal, passenger and baggage – covering all the SOPs regarding the operation of the terminal building including goods delivery, waste management and landscaping and also to allow the flow of passengers and baggage on arrival, departure and transfer.
  • Utility management – Operations Manuals and SOPs for the new data centres and the facilities being built to supply power and water.
  • Operational Control Centre – including all the monitoring, incident management and real time management of the airport.


This was a challenging project where our project management expertise and previous experience, including from Egis’ own airport network, was an important enabler to successful delivery. The project was not just about producing documentation, but also about creating new processes and procedures to ensure the safe and efficient operation of a major new airport terminal, as well as to embed key executives and experts from all KAIA stakeholders into a collective familiarization and preparation process by means of numerous workshops.

Against challenging timescales, the team ensured that project outputs were in place prior to the airport opening and able to be used for training new staff in the operation of the new terminal and their roles within it.

The documentation was also used to help with preparing the terminal for opening during the ORAT process and to ensure that the airport received the certification that was required.

As well as providing advice on the preparation of O&MMs, the team delivered the following documents:

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Rob Williams

Rob Williams

Principal Consultant

+44 (0)1252 451 651