The main element of the expansion, which is likely to be divided into two phases, calls for the construction of a new satellite terminal at the eastern end of the existing facilities, and the addition of eight passenger bridge gangways to the airport’s landing and arrivals infrastructure. Consultants will be invited to bid for the detailed design contract once the government has approved the initial plans for phase 1.

BIA plans to double its capacity with the expansion. More than 3.9 million passengers used the airport in 2000, an increase of 9.6 per cent on the previous year. According to CAA, the number of passengers using the airport is set to almost double to 7 million-8 million by 2005 (Bahrain, MEED Special Report, 28:9:01, pages 35-36).

CAA is also planning to invest heavily in developing the airport’s landing and air traffic facilities. The UK’s Jacobs Gibbis completing detailed designs for the conversion of the existing taxiway into an emergency runway. The estimated $20 million project entails shifting the central line of the runway to create a wider landing area, installing a new lighting system and extensive paving works. Contractors will be invited in March to bid for the main construction package. Local consultant Ahmad Abubaker Janahi Architectsis also completing detailed designs for a new air traffic control tower at BIA (MEED 2:11:01).