Bahrain Airport Company (BAC), 100% owned by Bahrain Mumtalakat Holding Company, announced the formal launch of the Bahrain International Airport (BIA) expansion project, which will boost capacity by 50% from the current 9 million passengers to 13.5 million.
The news came with the announcement that Dar Al Handasah, one of the largest engineering and design practices in the world,will lead the BD4.4m designphase of the expansion project. Expected to take nine months to complete this initial phase, Dar Al Handasah will also supervise the construction of the extension as part of its contract. The expanded Bahrain International Airport is expected to be complete by 2015.
“Bahrain International Airport is a vital component of Bahrain’s economy, with its strategic geographical location in the heart of the Gulf,” said BAC’s Chairman, Khalid Al Rumaihi. “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.We must ensure that BIA fulfills the potential and mandate set by Bahrain’s Economic Vision 2030, connecting our 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 the future, but also in bolstering the growing aviation and logistics industry 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.
The expanded airportwill increase the Airport footprint by an additional 40,000m², including more than 3,000m² of new retail facilities. It will also 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. Once started, construction will be carefully planned so as to minimise any disruption to airlines, passengers and all airport users.
Dar Al Handasahwon the competitive tender through the Bahrain Tender Board, over four other bidders, in a process commissioned by Bahrain Airport Company.
Emphasising the importance of this programme to BAC’s business strategy, BAC CEO, Gordon Dewar said, “Appointing Dar Al Handasah is another milestone towards expanding and developing BIA. The competitive tender process has ensured value for money for this important project. 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.”
Bassam Shakhshir, Director of Operations of 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.”
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. These services have ranged from the preparation of complete master plans and detailed designs to management and supervision of construction of new airports to the extension/rehabilitation of existing ones. To date, they have successfully undertaken over 120 projects for 33 international airports. Their track record in the Middle East includes 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.