Bahrain Airport unveils big expansion plans
Manama, June 27, 2011
Bahrain Airport Company (BAC), a unit of Mumtalakat Holding Company, has awarded a BD4.4 million ($11.6 million) contract to leading engineering group Dar Al Handasah for the expansion of the Kingdom's airport.
Announcing this on Monday, BAC chairman Khalid Al Rumaihi said Lebanon-based Dar Al Handasah will head the design of the expansion project aimed at increasing the airport footprint by an additional 40,000 sq m, including more than 3,000 sq m of new retail facilities.
Dar Al-Handasah has built a broad experience in airports and airport facilities covering both land and air side facilities, in addition to providing comprehensive airport developments, he added.
As part of the contract, Dar Al Handasah will also supervise the construction of the extension, said Al Rumaihi.
The project is likely to take nine months for the completion of the initial phase. The expanded Bahrain International Airport (BIA) is expected to be complete by 2015, he added.
Al Rumahi said the airport expansion project is aimed at boosting the capacity by 50 per cent from the current nine million passengers to 13.5 million.
The expanded airport will create 4 to 5 additional contact gates, 9 remote gates and 40 more check-in counters as well as an enlarged transfer facility amongst several other capacity improvements and value added facilities.
'BIA is a vital component of the Kingdom’s economy, with its strategic geographical location in the heart of the Gulf. The development will build on this historical position, transforming it into a vibrant platform for travellers and reinforcing the role it plays as a gateway to the world,' he added.
He pointed out that BAC must ensure that the airport fulfills the potential and mandate set by 'Bahrain’s Economic Vision 2030,' connecting the nation to the world and contributing to its socio-economic progress.
'The plans we are initiating for an expanded international airport are essential to Bahrain’s continued development, not only in providing businesses in Bahrain with the access they demand for future, but also in bolstering growing aviation and logistics in the Kingdom.'
'Furthermore it will provide passengers with an improved experience and increase opportunities for BAC to generate revenue, which can then be reinvested in the airport,' he added.
BAC chief stressed that the construction was being carefully planned so as to minimise any disruption to airlines, passengers and all airport users.
He said the Lebanon-based Dar Al Handasah had won the competitive tender through the Bahrain Tender Board, over four other bidders, in a process commissioned by BAC.
Commenting on the project, BAC chief executive Gordon Dewar said: 'We are working hard towards fulfilling our vision of running the best airport for Bahrain, whether it means meeting capacity demands, providing excellent levels of professional service or adopting the best techniques and technologies.'
'The completion of this development will go a long way towards meeting these goals and, in turn, boosting our profitability,' he noted.
Bassam Shakhshir, director of operations at Dar Al-Handasah Consultants in Bahrain, UAE and Oman said: 'We are delighted to have won this tender for such an important project for Bahrain International Airport and indeed Bahrain.'
'We have a proven track record that spans 55 years of planning, designing and implementing large scale development and infrastructure projects throughout the Middle East, Africa and Asia, and we will be harnessing that wealth of experience in producing the best design solutions to meet BAC’s needs,” he added.
'To date, we have successfully undertaken over 120 projects for 33 international airports,' said Shakhshir.
The key projects include Jeddah-King Abdel Aziz; Dubai; the World Central of Jebel Ali and Al-Maktoum; Beirut; Kuwait; Sana’a; Amman-Queen Alia; Cairo-TB3, Sharm El-Sheikh and Hurghada in Egypt' he added.-TradeArabia News Service