Iraq’s Salahaddin Investment Commission plans to build a $140m new international airport in Salahaddin province following the approval of the Iraqi Civil Aviation Board.

The investment commission is part of the government’s National Iraqi Investment Commission.

The new airport will have a capacity for about two million passengers every year. Construction work will comprise one runway and one taxiway, a source at the investment commission tells MEED.

The project is expected to take two years to complete with the airport expected to open in 2012, the source says.

US-based Leedco Engineers is currently designing and planning the airport and has also invested the money needed to fund the project. Once the design is finished, Leedco will then carry out the construction work.

Salahaddin province is located in northern Iraq and the capital is Tikrit, which is about 140km northwest of the Baghdad.

The airport is expected to attract visitors to the large number of tourist and pilgrimage sites that are located in the province.

The new airport will also support the Baghdad airport in the case of air traffic emergencies.

With a number of oil fields and petrochemical industries located in Salahaddin province, the airport will be in a key position for future construction and economic development opportunities.