A second contract, to carry out studies for the construction of a VIP lounge, car parking for up to 2,700 vehicles, a road network and aboveground water storage facilities, has been provisionally awarded to France’s Aeroports de Paris. The award has still to be ratified by the local Commission de Marches.

The two contracts form part of a much-discussed programme to expand the capacity of the country’s principal international airport, so that it will ultimately be able to deal with 12 million passengers a year. The new terminal will be able to handle 6 million passengers, bringing the total number of people using the airport to 8.5 million a year.

Local authorities had initially planned to bring private companies in to upgrade and expand the airport on a build-operate-transfer (BOT) basis. A tender for this was issued in October 1999 and Washington-based Sterling Merchant Financewas selected to advise the government on the concession. However, there were few takers for that scheme and it was eventually shelved, with the government assuming control (MEED 6:12:02; 8:10:99).