Lebanese airports headed for privatization
The Lebanese parliament has decided to set up a committee that will serve as a regulatory and advisory body for the imminent privatization of the Beirut International Airport (BIA) and the Rene Mouawad Airport.
Operating under the Lebanese public works ministry, the new Civil Aviation Committee will take over the activities of the existing Directorate of Civil Aviation. It is expected to cut the directorate 400-strong workforce, primarily by offering early retirement packages, reported the Daily Star.
The Civil Aviation Committee will soon set up the Beirut International Airport Corporation, whose shares are expected to be tendered to a private investor for up to 30 years, under Privatization Law 228. A similar corporation will thereafter be established in a bid to find a buyer for the Rene Mouawad airfield in Qleiat, which is in need of major rehabilitation.
In November 2001, Kuwait provided Lebanon with $39 million for the construction of a new BIA commercial flight runway. The project is part of a $500 million airport reconstruction plan that also includes a new passenger terminal, enabling the airport to handle up to six million passengers annually. BIA offers its services to about 40 foreign airline companies. The airport is located three miles south of Beirut. — (menareport.com)
© 2002 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)