Saudi Arabia's Jeddah Governor Prince Mishal Bin Majed inspected the progress of works at the new King Abdulaziz International Airport, which will start experimental operation early next year, Saudi Gazette reported.
More than 26,000 engineers and workers belonging to 100 companies are racing against time to complete the first phase of the SR27 billion project before the end of the current year.
With the completion of the project, Prince Mishal said, the airport with world-class facilities will be one of the largest airports in the Middle East and Asia, connecting the West and East.
"The airport will have the highly advanced facilities in terms of passenger lounges, air traffic control towers and support services. Its control tower, with a height of 136 meters, will be one of the largest towers in the world," he said adding that the project will generate jobs for thousands of Saudis, the Saudi Press Agency reported.
Prince Mishal also drew attention to a number of projects being implemented in the Jeddah governorate, especially the public transport project, including metro, which is aimed at reducing traffic congestion in Jeddah city.
Prince Mishal was accompanied by senior General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) officials including Faisal Al-Sugair, vice president.
Al-Sugair said the experimental operation of the new airport is expected to be completed within the first six months of 2015. "About 65 percent of the project has been completed and the remaining works of the infrastructure projects and experimental operation of roads and flyovers at the airport are expected to complete within three months."
The new expansion will increase the airport's annual capacity to 30 million passengers in the first phase and 80 million in the final phase.