The Supervision Committee for the Expansion of Abu Dhabi International airport (Scadia) has invited contractors to express interest in a contract to prepare the midfield terminal site for the contractors that will build the $6.8bn airport building.

The successful bidder will cap the piling and complete excavation work on the project ahead of a main contractor moving on site to build the terminal. Scadia says it plans to tender the main construction contract before the end of 2009 (MEED 13:11:09).

Local contractor NSCC has been working on the piling contract since February.

Scadia plans to build the terminal between the airport’s runway and a proposed second runway that it intends to build 2 kilometres to the north of the existing one.

US-based Kohn Pederson Fox Associates designed the 220,000-square-metre midfield terminal. It will increase the airport’s passenger handling capacity by 20 million when it opens at the end of March 2015.

Airport capacity will rise from 12 million to 32 million passengers a year.

Abu Dhabi chose to develop the midfield terminal project as a construction contract rather than as a build-operate-transfer deal as it planned at the beginning of 2009.

In January, Abu Dhabi Airports Company, which will oversee airport operations, 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.