Airport Construction

Bahrain International Airport ... poised for major expansion and the 2019 masterplan.

Bahrain International Airport ... poised for major expansion and the 2019 masterplan.

Bahrain kicks off $1bn airport expansion

July 2015

Contractors have started to lay the groundwork, involving the enabling works, ahead of construction of a new terminal building at Bahrain International Airport (BIA). The terminal, which is expected to be completed in early 2019, is part of Bahrain’s airport modernisation programme (AMP).

The $1-billion programme includes the construction of a 214,000-sq-m passenger terminal building and adjoining multi-storey car parks, access roads and forecourts, central utilities complex, new aircraft stands and rehabilitation of existing aircraft stands and taxi lane.

The main works contract – tenders for which are expected to be floated this month (July) – also dictates the overall management, supervision and co-ordination of specialist packages for the baggage handling systems, loading bridges, conveying systems, security-screening equipment and information and communications technology, most of which have already been released to bidders and will be awarded in the coming months.

Fifteen bidders who successfully fulfilled all the pre-qualification criteria have been shortlisted and will be invited to take part in the tender for the main construction package, which is slated to be awarded in October.

The shortlisted bidders are: Al Jaber Transportation and General Trading, Al Ghandi and CCC and Shapoorji, Arabtec/TAV Construction, China Harbour Engineering, Ghantoot/Acciona/MJC, GPZ/AlFara’a/Rizzani, Habtoor Leighton Group/ Hochtief, Kharafi/Admak General Contracting, Larsen & Toubro, OHL/Trojan, Saudi Binladin Group, Shade Corporation/Astaldi/IC Ictas, Six Construct/Nass Contracting, Tecton Limak and Vinci Construction.

According to Bahrain’s Transportation and Telecommunications Minister Kamal Ahmed, work is currently in progress on the first enabling works package, while a contract for the second enabling works package has just been awarded.

The first package, worth $3.68 million, involves relocating the utilities from the site where the new terminal will be built and is being implemented by Cyprus Building and Road Construction Company.

Work on the second phase of the enabling works is due to start in a different area this month, he adds. The BD10-million ($26.4 million) contract was awarded last month to G P Zachariades Engineering and Construction Company and is expected to be completed in May 2016.

The scope of work under the latest enabling works contract includes the construction of a new fire station and associated support infrastructure north of the runway to replace the existing building which will be demolished; building of a new access security gate at the end of the airfield fitted with the latest technology and equipment that will be the main airside access point for airport staff working on the airfield; and the re-provision of aviation fuelling facilities for Bahrain Aviation Fuelling Company including offices, maintenance workshops and operational equipment, and staff car-parks.

Bahrain Airport Company chief executive Mohamed Yousif Al Binfalah explains that some tenders related to the modernisation programme have yet to be awarded.

“The airport modernisation programme consists of two phases – one of which is the new terminal building and we are in very advanced stages of that programme,” he says.

He indicates that the design stage has been complete and the project is now in the tendering phase.

“I think between August and October all the programme packages will be awarded and we hope to have the main contractors on site by the end of October and beginning of November,” he states.

Bahrain International Airport currently serves nine million passengers a year, who fly with 51 airlines to 49 destinations.

However, as passenger numbers are expected to increase to between 14 and 16 million a year, the modernisation programme and new terminal will see the number of check-in counters and passenger loading bridges doubled, while retail and commercial outlets are also due to triple in size.

The project is designed to boost the airport’s infrastructure, facilities and services and increase handling capacity, enhancing the regional competitiveness of BIA and stimulating the growth of the local aviation sector as a result.

Once completed, the BIA passenger terminal will provide increased commercial and retail opportunities for business, enhanced facilities for passengers and will create ample employment opportunities for the local workforce.

Binfalah also believes that BIA has tremendous potential to grow as a cargo hub and become a major economic contributor along the same lines as international cargo hubs. “With this in mind, we have tailored our new masterplan to achieve our vision with a planned state-of-the-art 80,000-sq-m multi-modal Cargo Village that will be linked via air, rail and road to ports and airports across the Arabian Gulf states.

“The AMP will, without doubt, solidify BIA’s competitiveness as a prominent cargo hub in the region and help it grow along the same lines as its global peers,” he concludes.

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