Oman and Egypt will spend $2.95 billion in the next few years to expand and rebuild major airports in a bid to boost tourism and cargo capacity. Dubai and Bahrain have also announced significant expansion plans for their airports in order to become global aviation hubs.

A consortium of San Francisco-based Bechtel, Turkey’s Enka Construction Co. and Oman’s Bahwan Engineering Company LLC has been awarded a $1.8-billion contract to build a 360,000-square-meter passenger terminal complex at Muscat International Airport in Oman. Scheduled for completion in 2014, the terminal is the largest project ever undertaken in Oman. The effort is part of a strategic government initiative to develop the country into a tourist destination.

Designed by COWI-Larsen JV of Denmark, the state-of-the-art terminal will have the capacity to handle 12 million passengers per year and will be able to accommodate future expansion. ADPI Designers & Planners, a fully owned subsidiary of Aeroports de Paris Group, is the project management consultant.

Galfar Engineering and Contracting, based in Oman, and India’s Larsen & Toubro (L&T) are developing a new terminal at the airport in Salalah, Oman’s second largest city.  COWI, in a joint venture with Larsen Architects and Copenhagen Airports, are principal consultants, with ADPI serving as the project management consultant.

Estimated at $765 million, Salalah's 65,600-sq-m terminal is expected to accommodate one million passengers by 2014. The project calls for a passenger building, air-traffic control tower, and ancillary structures, along with a new four km-long runway. A cargo terminal capable of handling up to 100,000 tons of freight per year will also be constructed.

In Egypt, Limak-GMR Joint Venture Group won a contract in April to renovate and enlarge Terminal 2 of Cairo International Airport, a project being funded by the World Bank. Limak-GMR, established by Turkey-based Limak Insaat Sanayi ve Ticaret A.S. and India-based GMR Group, submitted the lowest bid, at $387 million. Cairo-based Engineering Consultants Group S.A., is the lead consultant for the renovation program, which encompasses master planning, design and construction management. The revamped terminal is scheduled to reopen in 2014.

Accommodating Airbus Planes

The project will double passenger capacity — to 7.5 million per year — and will enable the airport to serve Airbus 380 planes, which carry up to 525 people. The terminal building will be the first green airport to be developed in the Middle East North Africa region. “The project symbolizes the restoration of stability and trust in Egypt after a difficult period,” Harun İyidi, a member of Limak’s executive board, told the Turkish press. “It will open the gates of Cairo to the world and make a significant contribution to the country’s economy.”

The 123,000-sq-meter terminal will feature new check-in and departure halls, 14 gates, retail space, a pier with 14 contact stands and an airside pier with 18 parking stands. The contract also includes electromechanical works and a baggage handling system.

Following Oman and Egypt’s lead, Dubai Airports in early June announced expansion plans to significantly increase passenger capacity at Dubai International Airport and Al Maktoum International Airport to over 90 million per annum by 2020 at a cost of $5.98 billion. In June, the Dubai Aviation City Corporation invited contractors to submit prequalification documents for the multi-phased addition and refurbishment of Terminal 2 at Dubai International Airport.

Similarly, Bahrain International Airport, in Muharraq, announced on June 28 that it had signed a $11.6-million contract with Dar Al Handasah for the design phase of an expansion project, which is expected to take nine months to complete. Bahrain plans to spend $335 million on the expansion, which will raise annual capacity by 50% to 13.5 million passengers by 2015.