The Washington-headquartered World Bank has approved a $280m loan to help finance the renovation of terminal two at Cairo International airport, a source close to Cairo Airport Company confirms to MEED.

The $400m project covers an upgrade to the existing terminal so it can handle up to 7 million passengers a year, double its current capacity of 3.5 million passengers a-year.

Cairo Airport Company is currently prequalifying firms for construction contracts on the project. It has extended the prequalification deadline for the deals to 8 March from 28 February. The deadline was extended to give the bidders more time to prepare, a source closely involved with the project tells MEED.

The company expects to award the contract for the renovation work in the third quarter of 2010, the source adds.

Airlines are currently being moved from terminal two to terminal one where they will continue their operations while the renovation work takes place.

Greek national carrier Olympic Airlines, Bahrain’s Gulf Air, Oman Air and Kuwait Airways are among the airlines that have already been moved. All remaining airlines will have moved to terminal two by the end of March.

The air traffic control systems for the airport are also being upgraded. The Egyptian Holding Company for Airports and Air Navigation (Ehcaan) has invited consultants to submit expressions of interest in a deal to develop new air traffic control infrastructure and management strategies for terminal two by 31 March.

This deal covers analysis of the current airway network, a detailed description of the existing infrastructure and the current air traffic management system, and the development of a new airways network to handle traffic growth. Ehcaan expects to award the consultancy contract in the second quarter of 2010.

Turkey’s TAV completed construction of the airport’s third terminal in April 2009. It has capacity of 22 million passengers a year, making it one of the largest terminals in North Africa.