The General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has set a goal of reforming and liberalising the country’s airport sector. This initiative was focused around developing the airport sector on a commercial basis through the introduction of competition and increased private sector participation.
To deliver this GACA invited bidders to tender for the operation, maintenance, expansion, rehabilitation and modernisation of Madinah Airport within the structure of a long-term public-private partnership.
The traffic forecast for Madinah airport needed to reflect the additional dynamic of an airport receiving religious pilgrims who each year travel to the holy cities of Makkah and Madinah for the Hajj and to perform Umrah
These pilgrimages occur according to the Islamic Hijri calendar, but these timings vary year-on-year in relation to the Gregorian calendar, making the forecasting, business planning and operational management of the airport challenging. A critical part of this was assessing the split of this Hajj traffic between Jeddah and Madinah airports as both serve pilgrims to the holy cities. The bid process and religious position in Madinah was such that access to stakeholder engagement and historical data was limited.
Mott MacDonald spoke with airlines at their home bases and developed dedicated traffic forecasts explicitly covering the detailed religious programmes and movements over the forecast years and case study, benchmark driven revenue and cost assumptions.
Using this intelligence we conducted full demand and peak hour projections to help efficiently size the infrastructure – the airport requires substantial investment for the expansion and rehabilitation of the terminal buildings and associated infrastructure to improve service levels.
Value and benefits
We assisted in the compilation of bid documents including bid strategy, aviation marketing development plans, operating plans and communications strategy.
Our design data supported the consortium’s airport planners and architect by underpinning the capital development programme.