The package is likely to call for the construction of a 4-kilometre runway designed to handle the A380-800F freighter aircraft from Europe’s Airbus. Tenders are also due to be issued in the final quarter for a cargo terminal, agents building, amenities and the DLC headquarters and office park.

The first phase is scheduled to be operational by the first quarter of 2007 and will cover 25 square kilometres. The airport will initially have two runways and be able to handle about 1 million tonnes a year of cargo.

Abu Dhabi-based Trident Transport Companyhas completed half of its ground levelling and preparatory earthworks contract, which is scheduled for completion in February 2006. Ghantout Transporting & General Contractingand Wade Adams Contracting, both local, have also started the earthworks and road infrastructure package on the expansion of the southern sector of Jebel Ali Free Zone, which encompasses part of the proposed airport development (MEED 2:9:05).