The Dubai Aviation Engineering Project (DAEP) has awarded National Wheel J&P, a subsidiary of the Cyprus-headquartered contracting firm, an AED600m ($163m) contract for the construction of aprons adjacent to the passenger terminal building at Al-Maktoum International airport.

The scope includes the construction of aprons in the south of Al-Maktoum International to accommodate 22 new code C and one new code D remote stands in the West and East aprons. Work also entails reconfiguration of remote stands in the north apron to achieve 17 Code C and one MARS and upgraded code E stand, in addition to staging areas and associated utilities and infrastructure.

Two other major contracts related to the $33bn expansion of Al-Maktoum International have been awarded earlier. The first contract was awarded in June 2016 to local Tristar to complete the enabling works for the airport.The contract covers earthmoving work for the entire 36 square-kilometre site.

A joint venture of US-based Lane and Sharjah-based National Contracting & Transportation Company (NCTC) won a $125m infrastructure contract in 2016. The work, to be executed within 31 months, involves building and installing temporary fences and gates, utilities and site offices, as well as site security.

Work on all three packages have started and the site “will be very busy from busy from mid-2017 onwards,” according to DAEP.

Several tenders are expected in 2017. They include the highly complex baggage handling system, sub-structure packages and the automated people mover (APM) system.

In a statement, the DAEP confirmed that the baggage handling system tenders are back since early December 2016. “It is our next milestone in the procurement process,” the DAEP said, indicating that the award and involvement of a specialised vendor at this stage of the project development is key to the optimisation of the design.

The tender for the substructure packages, which could fetch around AED10bn inclusive of foundations and basement civil works, is expected in released the first quarter of 2017. It will be followed shortly by the APM tender.

UK-based HSBC is coordinating an inital loan of $3bn for the expansion project. It is understood commitment from banks is expected over the next two weeks. The $3bn loan for the airport expansion is split between a $2bn conventional tranche and a $1bn-equivalent, local-currency Islamic tranch,