Bahrain Airports Company (BAC) hopes to move forward with its $4.7bn plan to expand Bahrain International airport in February.

Two major tenders are pending. Contractors are still waiting to be invited to bid for the expansion of the existing terminal. BAC was initially planning to invite construction bids during the third quarter of 2010. This expansion will increase the airport’s capacity to 12 million passengers a year from the current four million.

BAC has also not yet prequalified companies for the design and supervision consultancy contract of two new terminals, 1A and 1B. Bac has received 39 prequalification documents for this contract and was planning to award the deal by November 2010.

BAC says it will make an announcement on both tenders “perhaps next month”.

Terminal 1A will be build alongside the existing terminal. It will have a capacity of 15 million passengers a year. Terminal 1B will be built to replace the existing terminal once terminal 1A is complete.

A rail link connecting the two terminals is also planned.

The extension of the existing terminal is all part of the first phase of the airport’s expansion. Phase one will also include the expansion of the passenger concourse, the construction of a multi-storey car park and the airport city, which is being built south of the existing terminal.

France’s Aeroports de Paris Ingenierie (Adpi) won the contract to prepare the masterplan for the 30-year expansion of Bahrain International Airport in April 2010. In May 2009, US-based Hill International won a four-year contract to provide project management services for the development.