US-based Bechtel has been appointed to study the short- and long-term upgrades at Sharjah International airport.

The eight-month study will identify future projects at the airport to increase its capacity and support local airline Air Arabia.

In 2013, Sharjah International airport handled 8.5 million passengers. This number is expected to grow to 15 million over the next 20 years.

There have been upgrades to the airport in recent years. In 2012, the local Wade Adams Contracting won an estimated AED600m ($163m) deal to build a new runway at the airport.

In 2005, Saudi Binladin Group won a AED227m contract to redevelop and expand the airport. The contract involved a concourse, air bridges, three gates, arrival and departure areas, an expanded duty-free area, check-in areas and a 150-vehicle car park adjacent to the arrivals area.