Egyptian Airports Company has requested contractors to submit prequalification documents for work on a second runway at Hurghada International airport, on the Red Sea coast.

The deadline for submissions is 11 March. Egyptian Airports Company is expected to invite contractors to bid for the construction contract in June.

The project involves the construction of a four-kilometre-long runway, taxiways, airfield lighting, drainage systems and other utilities.

The new runway will be built 950 metres west of the airport’s existing runway and is designed to accommodate the Airbus A380 aircraft.

The new runway forms part of wider plans to expand the airport, the third busiest in the country, behind Cairo International and Sharm el-Sheikh International airports.

Hurghada International’s facilities were designed to handle about 4 million passengers a year, but 6.7 million passengers currently use the airport each year. A second terminal is also being built and is due to be completed by 2011.

Egyptian Airports Company is a subsidiary of the state-owned Egyptian Holding Company for Airports & Air Navigation, which manages 19 airports around the country.