Airport masterplan nears landing

16 December 2005
The Works & Housing Ministry, working in co-operation with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), has shortlisted three international groups for the detailed masterplan contract on the proposed expansion of Bahrain International Airport (BIA). The study will outline plans for three phases providing capacity up to 2015 (MEED 2:12:05).

'We will appoint the masterplan consultant very soon,' Abdulla Ahmed Mohammed, acting engineering & maintenance director at the CAA, told MEED on the sidelines of the MEED Middle East Airport Projects conference in Manama on 11 December. The three groups are Singapore-based CPG, US-based Parsons International and a US team of Lee-Fisher Associateswith Skidmore Owings & Merrill (SOM).

The masterplan will initially focus on the first two phases of the expansion programme. To be completed by 2009, the expansion will increase airport capacity to about 18 million from 6 million. NACO of the Netherlands carried out the original masterplan.

The first phase entails a 45,000-square-metre extension of the eastern side of the existing terminal building and the addition of 10 aircraft parking stands, including two to accommodate the Airbus A380, and eight aerobridges.

Phase 2 will see the western side of the terminal extended with a further five contact gates. Project costs for the first two phases are estimated at about BD 50 million ($131.6 million).

Technical and commercial bids were submitted by eight bidders on 13 December for the position of project manager on the first- phase expansion. The UK's Mott MacDonaldis low bidder at BD 0.9 million ($2.4 million), followed by Germany's KUK Middle Eastat BD 1.1 million ($2.9 million). The other bidders are Turner International, Parsons and Bechtel, all of the US, Beirut-based Dar al-Handasah (Shair & Partners), Australia's Bovis Lend Leasewith locally-based Projacs Internationaland the UK's Atkins.

A decision on the final phase of the development will depend on future passenger growth. A 9.6-square-kilometre site to the northwest of the existing airport has been reserved for a new terminal building, runway and taxiway.

A new control tower is already under construction and additional cargo bays and executive aprons have recently been built. Bids were also submitted in mid-November for the eight-month runway resurfacing contract. The local Haji Hassanis low bidder at BD 10 million-10.2 million ($26.3 million-26.8 million), considerably lower than the only other bid submitted by a company identified as MEB Construction. The UK's Jacobs Gibbis the consultant.

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