BAHRAIN will have one of the most advanced airports in the region once the $1.1 billion expansion project is completed, it has been revealed.
Work on the Airport Modernisation Programme (AMP) – the largest infrastructure project in the country – is on track for completion by the second quarter of 2019, said Bahrain Airport Company chief executive Mohammed Al Binfalah.
The new terminal is expected to have a capacity to handle 14 million passengers per year, four times its current capacity.
“We are definitely on track as per our schedule and operating within our allocated funding of $1.1bn,” Mr Binfalah told the GDN yesterday.
“The 2019 deadline will be met.
“We are busy on various fronts such as the construction of a fuel farm, a multi-storey car park and have just completed the construction of the central utility complex that will feed power and water to the airport.”
Speaking on the sidelines of the second Airports Arabia Conference that opened at the ART Rotana, Amwaj Islands, he said the new passenger terminal will offer state-of-the-art services.
“From both passenger experience and information technology aspects, we will be one of the most advanced airports in the region.”
The two-day event is organised by the Bahrain Society of Engineers (BSE) and held under the patronage of Transportation and Telecommunications Minister Kamal Ahmed who attended the forum yesterday.
“AMP is progressing very well and as planned,” Mr Ahmed told the GDN.
“Everything is on track and we will hopefully deliver the project on time.”
The main contract of the project has been awarded to UAE’s Arabtec and TAV Construction from Turkey.
Boasting a built-up area of 207,000sqm, the new iconic terminal will include a 4,600sqm departure hall, 104 check-in counters, 36 passport control booths and 24 security screening points.
The expansion will meet the popular green building certification LEED Gold Specification and will also feature the latest in energy and water efficiency.
The project is being financed by the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development as part of the Gulf Development Fund to help Bahrain meet its development needs.
“There will be a transit hotel (Airside Hotel and Spa) for passengers who have long layovers with about 40 rooms designed to the best international standards,” said BAC AMP development director Derek Hendry.
“In addition, there will be a fully automated baggage control, self check-in kiosks and a premium Gulf Air lounge that will be three times bigger than the present facility.”
He said the multi-storey car park will be able to accommodate more than 3,500 vehicles, which sources told the GDN will feature solar shades.
“This is one of the biggest infrastructure projects in Bahrain that will meet safety and security standards as well as cater to future aviation needs.”
He also said the new airport will retain the essence of the old terminal, where passengers have enjoyed for years the ease of arriving or departing in a short span of time compared to other countries.
“The only difference is that it will be a bigger building and passengers have to walk a bit, but there are escalators and travellators.”
BAC’s chief development and technical officer Abdulla Al Janahi said phase two of the project included plans for a station as part of the Bahrain Light Rail Network.
The rails stations will be connected to footbridges and bus stops in several places including the Seef District, City Centre Bahrain, Bahrain Financial Harbour, Bahrain Bay and Bahrain International Airport.
“Passengers will wait upon arrival in an air-conditioned lounge for taxis and public transport at the airport,” said Mr Al Janahi.