The ministry plans to issue the tender soon. The scheduled date for the submission and opening of bids is 15 November, with a contract award to be made by year-end. Construction is expected to start in early 2005 on the airport, which will have initial capacity of 5 million passengers a year.

As build-operate-transfer (BOT) concessions are prohibited under local law, the successful bidder will be required to transfer the airport to the state before it can start operating the facility.

A consortium headed by Rothschild (Paris)and including the local Comete Engineeringand France’s Gide LoyretteNouelis providing financial, technical and legal advice to Tunis (MEED 13:2:04).