Dubai Aviation Engineering Projects (DAEP) expects to award the contract for the baggage handling system (BHS) at Al-Maktoum International airport by mid-May.

Germany’s Siemens and Netherlands-based Vanderlande Industries are understood to be among the bidders that submitted an offer for the contract in December last year.

Construction of the BHS is expected to be completed in 2024, a year prior to the target completion date of the first phase of the airport expansion project.

The system will be serving 134 contact stands and additional active remote stands. It will have a capacity to handle 220,000 bags daily between arrivals, departures and transfers. Transfers are expected to account for 70 per cent of the airport traffic, a feature that requires a highly complex BHS.

Apart from the installation, testing and commissioning of the system, the scope of work involves a conceptual design of the entire phase of Al-Maktoum International to ensure system integrity and future-proof the system and a detailed design for the West Terminal Building phase 1A Concourse 1 and one node of Concourse 2 with the related remote stands operation.

DAEP has also recently received bids for the contract to build a tunnel at Al-Maktoum International. The tunnel will be used for the airport’s baggage handling system. It will be over 4 kilometres long, 33 metres wide, and 15 metres high. It will also link the airport’s West Terminal building with the concourse buildings.

In February, DAEP released the tender for the automated people mover (APM) system at Al-Maktoum International. Bids are expected on 30 May. The high capacity automated conveyance system will transport passengers between the landside terminal and the airside concourses, and connect passengers between and within concourses.

The design contract for the air traffic control tower of the airport is also expected to be awarded shortly.

The $33bn airport expansion project involves building new terminal facilities, concourses, runways, roads and tunnels. Once completed, the expanded airport is expected to accommodate more than 220 million passengers a year, making it the world’s largest in terms of size and passenger capacity by 2050.

The expansion to the existing terminal at the airport is also under way. In March, the local Alec was awarded the construction contract. The work involves increasing the airport’s built-up area from the existing 66,107 square metres to 145,926 sq m. The construction work is expected to be completed in mid-2017.