Saudi Arabia Ministry of Defense
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

King Abdulaziz International Airport

The first major airport in the Middle East encompassed three million square meters, one of the largest and most complex in the world at the time.

Fluor's services included design input for the master plan and various facilities, coordination of design team members, review of detailed design, shop drawings, and material selection.

Construction management responsibilities included handling all contracts and subcontracts, quality assurance, management information, and project control systems.

Client's Challenge

King Abdulaziz International Airport (KAIA) is located north of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia's first and most important trade center; and includes a Royal Saudi Air Force base.

The project was complex and included extensive infrastructure. The Haj Terminal, for example, features high-quality finishes and aesthetically designed architectural elements, as well as state-of-the-art security and building systems.

Included in the $4.3 billion project were two major airport terminals (one being the massive Haj Terminal), aircraft maintenance hangars, air freight, and food service facilities, a housing and office complex, and support service facilities.

Other facilities were twin concrete runways, the Royal Reception Pavilion, warehousing, health centers, load centers, fuel systems, telecommunications, security allowances, roads, landscaping, and nurseries.

Perhaps most importantly, Saudi labor received training to operate and maintain the completed development. Both In-Kingdom and Out-of-Kingdom training was required.

Fluor's Solution

Fluor was responsible for reviewing the master plan, directing, and reviewing all detailed design, developing and implementing all contracts, managing construction, and reviewing all shop drawings.

In addition, Fluor provided design reviews from the standpoint of constructability and maintainability and was involved in value management studies; contracts and subcontracts; field surveillance of installed work; and development and implementation of sophisticated management information and project control systems.

The background study that Fluor carried out to accomplish this led to assisting a major Saudi Arabian ministry in its efforts to quickly develop a leading role in world aviation.

Three years before construction was finished, Fluor was asked to develop a comprehensive program for maintenance at the airport and supporting facilities.

Fluor supported the maintenance function for many years, which included runways, terminal buildings including the royal pavilion, the desalination plant, roads and ground, and the electrical, water, communications, and waste systems. At the peak of the maintenance work, Fluor supplied 100 qualified maintenance managers and engineers and managed nine subcontractors, and 1,200 craft workers.

A prime feature of Fluor's nine-year association with the KAIA was training assistance for the Saudi maintenance work force. Fluor sponsored, and was closely involved with, 260 Saudi citizens who trained in the United States after having learned English at a Fluor-established school established.

Fluor also installed an enhanced version of the company's computerized maintenance management system to provide online control of all maintenance aspects throughout the airport.


In planning, coordinating, and controlling the massive project, the Fluor management team applied construction sequencing to take advantage of the repetitive nature of many elements of the project.

In addition, an effective contract administration and procurement program was key to the successful effort.

The facility was constructed in record time.