Iraq’s Transport Ministry is inviting companies to submit offers of financial and technical assistance for the construction of the new Middle Euphrates airport.

Companies have 30 days from 18 August to submit documents.

The new airport is being built near Karbala, located southwest of Baghdad. The preliminary designs for the airport have been completed by French firm ADPI and were submitted to the ministry a number of weeks ago.

The airport is to be constructed in three phases. The first phase involves building a facility with a capacity of six million passengers. The second phase will expand this capacity to 12 million passengers and the final stage will allow 20 million passengers to use the airport every year.

The airport will feature a runway that is 4.5 kilometres long and 60 metres wide. 

In May, the Transport Ministry invited firms to prequalify for various construction deals covering the runway, landside infrastructure and utilities. Companies had until 10 July to submit bids.

ADPI won the contract to select the site for the Middle Euphrates airport development in 2009. The firm has also carried out the masterplan for the facility and has designed the runways, taxiways, control tower and terminals.

Once complete, the airport will serve the millions of pilgrims and tourists that flock to the nearby cities of Najaf and Karbala each year to visit the shrines and areas of religious significance in the region.