Six major projects are under way or have been approved to expand capacity at Kuwait International Airport (KIA), Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) director of projects Mahdy al-Dakheel told the Arabian World Construction Summit (AWCS) in Abu Dhabi.

He also said that designs are being prepared for a proposed new terminal that will raise the airport’s capacity to 25 million passengers. Al-Dakheel said he expected 8.5 million passengers in 2011 and that the number is growing by 4-5 per cent a year. The existing terminal was designed for 7 million passengers.

The projects under way or approved are:

  1. Extension of KIA’s two runways. One is to be increased to 4,780 metres from 3,400 metres and the other to 4,000 metres from 3,500 metres. The extensions will allow the runways to deal with fully laden Airbus Industrie A380 freight airliners. The project is out to tender.
  2. The third runway. This will be 4,580 metres long and will serve the proposed cargo city. The project is out to tender.
  3. The Amiri fleet apron, which will accommodate Kuwait government aircraft. Bids have been submitted and Al-Dakheel said he hoped a contract would be placed soon.
  4. The new DGCA headquarters, to be completed in three years from the start of work. MA Kharafi Construction has won the contract and the deal should be signed soon.
  5. Two new firefighting stations to cater for the airport expansion. MA Kharafi has the contract.
  6. The infrastructure for Kuwait Cargo City. This will provide the services needed by investors building facilities in the proposed cargo city. Al-Dakheel said that work should be completed by the end of the year.

Opportunities for investors include a maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) facility, a hotel, warehousing and catering facilities and services.

Al-Dakheel said private investors will be invited to submit proposals for two gas and maintenance stations within the airport’s perimeter. Deutsche Bank is preparing tender documents for potential bidders.