Construction work on the $1.1bn passenger terminal at Bahrain International airport is progressing according to schedule, with the project’s first phase expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2019.

“We expect to start the new airport’s soft opening by September next year,” Bahrain’s Transport and Telecommunications Minister Kamal bin Ahmed Mohammed tells MEED.

The first phase of the construction works entails 95 per cent of the entire project. It includes the operational readiness and airport transfer process, which typically takes six to seven months.

“We are doing very well. I think this could be the shortest [implementation] period for a project of this kind,” says Mohammed.

MEED understands the existing terminal will be demolished once the expanded airport is 80 per cent complete.

A team of UAE-based Arabtec and Turkey’s TAV Airports won the Bahrain airport expansion contract in January 2016. Construction work began in April of that year.

An estimated 70 per cent of the scheme is being funded by the GCC Fund, primarily by the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development. The rest is being provided by the Bahraini government.

Mohammed earlier told MEED that the under-construction terminal, which is designed to handle 14 million passengers annually, will enable Bahrain to offer better services for the next 15 to 20 years.

The sustained increase in passenger traffic at Bahrain International and the limited land area available for expansion mean the location of a future terminal will be at sea, in the northern part of Bahrain.

Mohammed previously confirmed that a study has been conducted to identify the location of the future terminal.

The Transport & Telecommunications Ministry also plans to develop a new cargo facility close to the expanded airport.

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