Construction work on the $500m upgrade of Sebha International airport in Libya is expected to move ahead in 2011.

The contractors are currently revising the design for the upgrade of the airport that will increase the capacity to two million passengers a year when it is complete. The airport is about 600 kilometres south of Tripoli.

The airport will be completed two and a half years from when construction starts, so is not likely to be complete until 2013, says a source close to the project.

Turkey’s TAV won the contract to carry out the construction of Sebha airport with local partner Libyan Consolidated Contractors Company in 2007. France’s Aeroports de Paris is the consultant on the project.

Similarly, construction on the $1.4bn expansion of Tripoli International airport is expected to resume in 2011. The project includes the construction of two new terminals and was due to be completed by the first quarter of 2011. However, numerous revisions to the contract have resulted in delays (MEED 17:2:10).

Libya has three major airport expansion projects under way – Sebha, Tripoli and Benghazi – with a total value of $2.5bn.