Bahrain Airport Company (Bac) has cancelled plans to build two new passenger terminals at Bahrain International airport and will instead move ahead with plans to upgrade the existing terminal.

“Our current development plans are for an expansion of the existing terminal only,” confirms a spokesman at Bac. However, the two new terminals will remain part of the long-term development plan of the airport, according to the spokesman.

Transport projects in Bahrain
Project Status Value
Bahrain International airport – expansion of existing terminal Prequalification $4.7bn
Bahrain International airport – two new terminals Cancelled
Qatar-Bahrain causeway On hold $4bn
Rapid transit network Re-prequalification $7.9bn
Source: MEED

Bac now hopes to start prequalifying contractors to bid for a contract that covers the upgrade of the existing terminal in July. This expansion will increase the airport’s capacity to 12 million passengers a year from the current 4 million.

The first of the new terminals was due to be Terminal 1A, which was planned to be built alongside the existing Bahrain airport terminal and have a capacity of 15 million passengers a year. Terminal 1B will be built to replace the existing terminal once terminal 1A is complete. Bac received 39 prequalification documents for the design contract for the two terminals and was initially planning to award the deal by November 2010 (MEED 15:4:10).

A rail link connecting the two terminals was also planned. The spokesman added that further details of the long-term plan for Bahrain airport would be revealed “in due course”.

Bahrain’s economy has been hit by more than a month of anti-government protests that led the ruling family to call for military assistance from other GCC states to force protesters off the streets. “The current political issues have not changed our development plans, though it has delayed our public announcement on the details of the interim expansion,” says the spokesman.

In April 2010, France’s Aeroports de Paris Ingenierie (Adpi) won the contract to prepare the masterplan for the 30-year expansion of Bahrain airport.

Bahrain has several transport projects in the pipeline, including a series of road upgrades and plans to build a light rail transit network. Questions remain, however, over the progress of a key project, the $4bn Qatar-Bahrain Causeway. The causeway was put on hold in June 2010 and little progress has been made since.