Five firms bid for $52 million expansion of Bahrain's airport
At least five companies are competing to design a major expansion of Bahrain International Airport, which includes a new terminal and could cost up to BD20 million ($52.8 million), a report said.
They have already submitted tenders to Bahrain Airport Company (BAC) for the first step of the overhaul project, reported the Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister puiblication.
Talks about the scheme have been underway since 2011, but were pushed back due to several issues, including Gulf Air's three-year restructuring programme.
The 50 per cent expansion is being carried out in co-operation with Mumtalakat and Transportation Ministry.
"The demand for a larger terminal at Bahrain International Airport is increased and as the number of passengers landing in Bahrain has grown the necessity has too," said a BAC official.
"This is something that BAC and all the authorities have been waiting for a long time. The last time the airport was updated or revamped was in 1994 and before that it was in the 1970s. All the way into the late 90s the airport received awards for its facilities and services, and it was a trend setter.
"However, in the 2000s other airports in the region opened that were grander and bigger such as the one in Dubai while Bahrain remained the same,” the official added.
The organisations contending for the design contract are Dar Al Handasah Consultants, HOK, Aecom, ADPI and NACO.
They will look into increasing the airport's footprint by 40,000 sq m.
The scheme will feature around five additional contact gates, nine remote gates, 40 new check-in counters and a large transfer facility among others.
The official told the GDN the reported $1 billion overhaul project is part of a strategy to boost the airport's capacity.
He explained one of the bids, with a value of around BD16 million, has been temporarily suspended, but has not been ruled out of the tender race.
"This is one of the first major steps as the tenders have been opened for companies to design the new airport," he said.
"So far there are five bids, and one of them has been suspended but I can't get into those details.
"This is such a big project that it doesn't come cheap and it has to go through a process before a final decision is made regarding the designers. Once a detailed overview of all the submissions is made then a vote will be taken."
The airport currently serves a maximum of nine million passengers annually, which could increase to 13.5 million under the new plans