Prequalifiers for the contract are understood to include Denmark’s COWI, France’s Aeroports de Paris, Norway’s Norconsultand Parsons Internationaland Bechtel, both of the US. The committee is looking to make a swift award, with a consultant due to be selected by the end of the year.

The first task of the consultant will be to draw up the masterplan for the new airport, which will be located four kilometres east of the existing one and have capacity to handle 12 million passengers a year. Under the fast-track schedule, on-site construction is due to begin in early 2004 and be completed by the opening of the Asian games in December 2006.