The project calls for the construction of a 4.1-kilometre runway with associated facilities including substations and a tunnel. The local Saif bin Darwishwas awarded in July the six-month contract to carry out the rough grading package on the runway, for which the UK’s Halcrowis the consultant.

Design awards are pending on two other key components of the airport expansion. Four international firms have submitted proposals for the control and observation tower. They are: Aeroports de Paris (AdP); Swiss-based Itten-Brechbuhl; US-based Fentress Bradburn & Associates; and Kohn Pederson Fox Associates (KPF), also of the US, with the UK’s Arup. The project centres on the construction of a 120-metre-high control tower.

Scadia is also evaluating bids from four firms for the midfield terminal complex. The bidders are Hellmuth, Obata & Kassabaum (HOK), Skidmore Owings & Merrill (SOM), both US-based, KPF and Fentress Bradburn & Associates with Australia’s GHD. The terminal, expected to be tendered in several packages, will go for bid in the first quarter of 2007. It will have a built-up area of about 400,000 square metres and include about 50 contact gates.

Designs are under way for the construction of an interim passenger terminal catering for flag carrier Etihad Airways. The new terminal will have a built-up area of about 50,000 square metres and will be connected to the existing main terminal structure. It will also include six-nine contact gates, passenger and baggage handling areas and office and maintenance areas. The UK’s Pascal & Watsonis the design consultant. The main construction tender is expected to be issued by February.

The expansion will be located adjacent and to the north of the existing airport and double the airport’s existing size to 3,400 hectares. Phase 1, to be completed by 2010, is designed to handle 20 million passengers a year. The US’ Parsons Internationalis the programme manager.