The airport, formerly Seeb International Airport, currently handles about 4.5 million passengers a year.

The ministry is prequalifying contractors for the engineering procurement and construction (EPC) contract, which is expected to involve the construction of a terminal building with a floor area of 290,000 square metres.

The terminal will be built between the airport’s existing runway and a proposed second runway and will be linked to the existing terminal by a rail system. It is due to be completed by 2011.

The airport expansion project also includes a control tower, a cargo terminal capable of handling 200,000 tonnes of cargo a year and parking for 6,000 vehicles.

The contracts for the second runway and other construction work are expected to be awarded by the client as traditional construction contracts rather than as part of the EPC agreement.

The project allows for three additional phases that could increase the capacity of the airport to 48 million passengers a year by 2050.

The team of Denmark’s Cowi and the local Larsen Architects & Consulting Engineers prepared the concept designs for the terminal.

A joint venture of France’s Aeroports de Paris and Pakistan’s National Engineering Services Pakistan & Partners is the project manager for the project.