Major upgrade for Queen Alia airport in Jordan

Major upgrade for Queen Alia airport in Jordan

A new state-of-the-art terminal at Queen Alia International Airport in Jordan is set to open this month and is expected to almost triple the current airport capacity.

Beginning operations on March 21st 2013, the new terminal is worth an estimated US$750 million and will catapult the airport’s capacity to nine million annual passengers.

The launch of the terminal is part of the Jordanian government’s drive to double tourism revenue to JD4.2 billion (around £3.8 billion) by 2015.

QAIA is Jordan’s largest airport and is located 20 miles south of the capital Amman.

The airport currently has two passenger terminals and has seen annual passenger numbers grow by 40 per cent in the last four years, with a record 6,250,048 PAX using the airport in 2012.

There are currently 44 airlines flying from QAIA with 1,220 flights per week.

The new terminal is 103,000sqm and has been designed by renowned architect Sir Norman Foster, with a roof design inspired by Bedouin tents.

The new building is designed to allow passengers easy access to the boarding lounge and shopping areas directly from the security checkpoint.

The Airport International Group, which financed the new terminal, has also additionally invested US$100 million on upgrading the existing terminals and improving passenger experience at QAIA.

Improvements include increasing the size of check-in areas, the refurbishing of retail space and increasing the mix of duty-free shopping and food and beverage outlets at the airport.

An upgrade of the baggage handling system and security checking will also be initiated.

It is hoped that the improved facilities will help QAIA develop as a transit hub, increasing the potential for attracting stop-over tourists.

Stephen Hurp, Jordan Tourism Board, UK & Ireland, commented: “The launch of the new airport terminal is a significant step for tourism to Jordan.

“The UK market has now seen year on growth in every year since 2009, with a record 69,845 UK tourists visiting the country throughout 2012.

“We hope that the increased capacity at QAIA will help us to welcome even more tourists to Jordan in 2013.”