Abu Dhabi Airports Company (Adac) will develop its $6.8bn midfield terminal project at Abu Dhabi International airport as a construction contract rather than a build-operate-transfer deal as originally planned, according to a senior executive at the company.

Airport companies typically tender construction contracts rather than build-operate-transfer deals if they decide to operate the terminal themselves, or if they decide that they want a company other than the builder to manage the terminal when it opens.

Adac plans to tender the contract before the end of 2009, signalling an end to months of delay on the midfield terminal, said Sulaiman al-Siksek, the head of aviation projects of the supervision committee for the expansion of Abu Dhabi International airport, speaking at MEED’s Abu Dhabi conference on 12 November.

The company originally planned to award the contract to build the 220,000-square-metre terminal in the second quarter.

The midfield terminal will more than double the airport’s capacity when it opens at the end of March 2015. The number of passengers using the airport each year will rise from 12 million to 32 million.

Adac plans to build the terminal between the airport’s runway and a second runway, that it plans to build two kilometres to the north of the existing runway.

The airports company originally planned to open the terminal in 2011, but delayed the opening date by four years to make changes to the terminal’s design.

In January, Adac shortlisted three companies for the build-operate-transfer contract to develop the terminal: France’s Aeroports de Paris, Germany’s Hochtief, and Turkey’s TAV.