Morocco’s aviation authority has put its plans to tender the contract to design an expansion of Marrakech International Airport on hold after appointing a new managing director.

Office National des Aeroports (Onda) originally planned to invite consultants to bid for the design contract by the end of June (MEED 11:3:10).

However, the appointment of the new managing director Dalil Guendouz has stalled these plans.

“A new managing director of the national airports authority [was] appointed and so the programme has changed,” says an Onda spokeswoman. “There is not yet a schedule [for] the new terminal.”

The expansion will more than double the airport’s capacity to 10 million passengers a year by 2013, from 4.5 million passengers a year currently.

Work planned for the development includes an expansion of existing passenger terminals and extending aeroplane berths to accommodate the Airbus A380.

The expansion is being planned to help cope with a projected increase in tourism in the country.

8.3 million foreign passengers passed through Morocco’s airports in 2009, a five per cent increase from 2008.

The International Air Transport Association (Iata) predicts that Morocco will see a 6.8 per cent increase in passenger traffic between 2010 and 2013.