The Aqaba Development Corporation (ADC) signed an agreement to engage Changi Airports International (CAI) to further detail the current master plan for the development of the King Hussein International Airport at Aqaba. The contract was signed by Mr. Imad Fakhoury, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of ADC and Mr. Chow Kok Fong, Chief Executive Officer of CAI at Cityscape in Dubai on October 18th, 2007.
The master plan is intended as a basis for the land use development of the land allocated for KHIA and the development of the airport itself. The plan has three major features-- first it is formulated to enable the airport to be developed in a sustainable and cost effective manner. This will underpin the airport’s efforts to expand its capacity for both passenger and air cargo traffic.
Secondly, the master plan will seek to minimize any adverse effect on the environment, which may arise from the development of the airport. This is particularly important because Aqaba affords access to Petra, one of the 7 wonders in the world as well as the Red Sea coral reefs.
Thirdly, the plan will also set out the land use strategy to enable the airport to attract and accommodate investments in various aviation related businesses. This will represent a new source of jobs and economic growth for Jordan. The Aqaba Special Economic Zone (ASEZ) was established in 2001 as a major economic development initiative which is expected to draw in $12 billion of investments and the creation of 70,000 jobs.
Together with preparing the master plan, CAI will also be providing a wide range of other consultancy services under this agreement. This includes the inventorying and data collection on the state of the airport’s current facilities. It will also construct a model for the projection of the air travel demand in Aqaba from 2007 to 2027. CAI will develop up to three airport development alternatives that will take into consideration the new facilities needed in order to meet the expected increase in traffic and activity at the airport. This will include updating the airport layout plan concerning the configuration of runways, taxiways, aprons, structures, navigational aids and other airport facilities. CAI will also carry out land-use planning within the vicinity of the airport to ensure safe aircraft operations and protection of the general public from exposure to emissions and excessive noise. The master plan will be developed in conjunction with an environmental impact assessment study to ensure the local environment is not negatively impacted as a result of the airport’s development plans. Finally, CAI will carry out an operational audit of the existing airport. This will define the baseline for the airport to mount a program to review and raise the performance standards of the airport, including the processes currently undertaken by independent service providers.Mr. Chow Kok Fong stressed the special value proposition which CAI brings to assignments of this nature. “For many years, our airport in Changi stands as one of the very few airports in the world which have been planned for a high degree of operational flexibility, while providing the expandability for the growth of the airport. The master plan for Changi thus remains valid for the continued growth of Changi when many of its comparable counterparts in Europe and elsewhere have been quietly jettisoned. Our Airport Planning and Development Division has therefore consistently received more inquiries than we could handle.”
On the contract for the Aqaba Airport, Mr. Chow noted: “The Middle East is truly an exciting region for the aviation industry. Traffic growth in the region has persistently registered 18% or more and represents one of the fastest growing markets in the world. Aqaba is located at the crossroads of four countries and three continents. It is served by a liberal Open Skies Agreement and is therefore well poised for a continued period of robust growth.”
Mr. Fakhoury said, "The world renowned Changi Airports International is a leader in the aviation industry with a wealth of hands on experience in airport management and operations, including operating the Singapore Changi Airport and providing its expertise to some of the busiest airports around the world."
Mr. Fakhoury went on to say, "With the demand for aviation facilities and air traffic to Aqaba increasing at a rapid pace, the preparation of a master plan for the airport comes at a very important time and will play a significant role in achieving our goal of turning KHIA into a world class airport, serving not only Aqaba and Jordan, but the entire Middle East region"
He added that "ADC has already secured over $120million worth of investments within the airport, ranging from aircraft manufacturing and maintenance centers, air flight academies, air cargo facilities and general aviation related businesses. In addition to these, ADC continues to receive numerous investment requests from national, regional and global companies wanting to set up different aviation related projects at the Airport. Therefore, ADC sought to develop the airport's masterplan to include expansions in land around the facility that would accommodate the rising demand in investments."
In January of this year, an official delegation from ASEZ visited Singapore where representatives of the ASEZA and ADC held several high level meetings with top businessmen and officials from Singapore to learn more about the East Asian city's experience in transforming a once small fishing port, into one of the busiest and most advanced business hubs and sea ports in the world. The delegation also paid a visit to the Changi Airport in Singapore, considered one of the best in the world, in order to explore the opportunity of developing a partnership for the expansion and operation of KHIA.
About The Aqaba Development Corporation (ADC)
ADC (adc.jo) was launched at the beginning of 2004 by the Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority (ASEZA) and the Government of Jordan, with the mandate to own and maintain the development and management rights for the strategic assets in the Aqaba Special Economic Zone (ASEZ), making it the development partner for all investors interested in taking advantage of the endless opportunities that ASEZ has to offer.
ASEZ was launched in 2001 with the objective of creating Aqaba as an oasis for commerce, a premium destination for tourism, an incubator for modern technology and a regional hub for transport logistics. ASEZ is regulated by ASEZA, which is responsible for managing, regulating and providing municipal services within ASEZ.