Automated people mover at Saudi Arabia’s largest airport
King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah is Saudi-Arabia´s largest airport and on its way to becoming the most important airport in the Kingdom – the gateway for pilgrims on the Hajj and Umrah to Mecca.
Getting off to a successful start thanks to specialist expertise and experience
Once Saudi-Arabia´s largest airport is fully operational, it will boast 46 gates and a 1.5 km long, fully automated people mover system (APM GoA4) connecting the domestic and international terminals. DB Engineering & Consulting (DB E&C) has been monitoring the final assembly and commissioning of the automated people mover and the ten Bombardier INNOVIA APM 300 vehicles since April 2019. APM expert Björn Gäbler (DB E&C) reviewed the supplier’s work and performed quality control inspections in collaboration with the Consultant for Construction, System Integration, Systems Assurance, Systems Safety, Risks Management and Certification of the customer, Rail Technology Company Ltd. (RailTec).
While the APM was originally supposed to be commissioned in 2019, the starting date was delayed to ensure the safety of airline and APM passengers. The extra time was devoted in particular to modifying the fire protection systems and carrying out the relevant tests.
Applications for the required safety certificate and operating license for the APM were prepared and submitted on behalf of the Saudi Binladin Group (SBG) by RailTec with the support of DB E&C. These two documents were issued by the Transport General Authority (TGA) in June 2020 and are valid for a period of two years. As a result, the APM entered operation on since then and is now being used by passengers. Since then, DB E&C has been providing support to RailTec for monitoring its operation and providing maintenance, as it did for the APM at Princess Nourah bint Abdulrahman University in Riyadh. RailTec is an associated company of DB E&C, both companies have already worked together successfully in other projects in Saudi Arabia.
Operation under challenging conditions
Passenger operations continue to be more difficult because of the measures being implemented for the COVID-19 pandemic. These include signs and markings in trains and stations for proper distancing between passengers and enforcing the general obligation to wear masks. The regular cleaning and disinfection of trains, stations and other airport facilities is being implemented and monitored.