Bahrain launches major airport expansion
Manama, October 28, 2013
Bahrain airport will undergo a major expansion to handle 13.5 million passengers a year, said HRH Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, adding that a new airport was also on the way.
The Premier said that the development would meet demands expected by 2030, reported the Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication.
He chaired the Cabinet session in the presence of HRH Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and First Deputy Premier.
Ministers discussed and approved a memorandum presented by the Transportation Minister. Plans include a comprehensive upgrade of the current departure building and all its facilities.
The new second airport was also discussed. Two locations near Fasht Aljarem and North of Diyar Al Muharraq have been reserved as potential sites for the new airport.
The Cabinet commissioned the ministerial committee for services and infrastructure to complete technical and environmental studies related to this in co-operation with the authorities concerned.
Bida are being invited from construction companies seeking to win the contract for a multi-million dinar expansion to Bahrain International Airport, the report said.
"The airport expansion is expected to increase capacity up to 13.5 million passengers a year from its current 9 million," said Minister of State for Information Affairs Sameera Rajab.
"But first, a comprehensive maintenance of the current departure building and all its facilities, and an upgrade to the quality of services will be carried out. Tenders are being finalised and will be issued for offerings in the upcoming period."
Rajab was unable to elaborate on the expansion, saying the details would be revealed during the tendering phase.
Talks about the scheme have been underway since 2011, but were pushed back due to several issues, including Gulf Air's three-year restructuring programme.
The 50 per cent expansion is being carried out in co-operation with Mumtalakat and the Transportation Ministry.
The last time the airport was updated or revamped was in 1994 and before that it was in the 1970s.
The GDN reported in August that the expected expansion will feature around five additional contact gates, nine remote gates, 40 new check-in counters and a large transfer facility among others.
A BAC official told the GDN yesterday the Cabinet's decision was necessary to push the maintenance and expansion schemes ahead.
"There will be different tenders issued for maintenance and construction through a sequence of different phases," he said. "Costs will be determined by bidders, but work will cost millions of dinars considering the nature of the airport and needed facilities and services." – TradeArabia News Service