The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has unveiled its masterplan for the expansion of Kuwait International Airport (KIA). The estimated KD 200 million-300 million ($690 million-1,034 million) development will increase annual capacity to 20 million passengers from 6 million, as well as modernising facilities and enabling it to receive the new Airbus A380 superjumbo.

Speaking at the Second MEED Major New Project Opportunities in Kuwait conference on 18 May, DGCA?s head of investment projects division Osama Nijem outlined the results of the masterplan, which was conducted by a German/local team of Dorsch Consultand SSH. ‘The expansion will have a total footprint of up to 85,000 square metres,’ said Nijem. ‘Space has also been made on the masterplan to add a third runway, bringing total capacity up to 45 million passengers if the option is taken.’

The scheme?s central element is a new terminal building with capacity of 12 million-14 million passengers. It will be linked to the existing terminal via a tunnel and connected to a new access road from the south. The masterplan also calls for the construction of a hotel, car parks and associated aprons and remote stands.

Both the existing runways will be extended by up to 600 metres to enable the next generation of aircraft to land. New maintenance hangars will also need to be built and an existing fuel station moved.

Dorsch and SSH are now conducting a one-year feasibility study into different financing models for the expansion. DGCA is considering letting the terminal construction contract on a build-operate basis, as well as outsourcing aircraft maintenance, catering and ground support services (MEED 25:6:04).