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Marsa Alam International Airport’s terminal is doubling in size and its runway, taxiways, ramp and aircraft parking stands are being expanded.
The major expansion plan – announced by M.A. Kharafi Group of Kuwait, the developer, financier and concessionaire of Marsa Alam International Airport – is expected to be completed by the fourth quarter of next year.
The Red Sea airport’s expansion, originally envisioned to take place in 2011, has been brought forward in response to the rapid growth of the neighbouring Port Ghalib resort and airport service area, which now has 7,000 rooms and a further 5,000 under construction.
The new-look airport, which will see parking stands doubled to 10, will be capable of handling nearly 2,000 passengers per hour and contain expanded food, beverage and shopping facilities.
Jim Pringle, chief executive director for the Group’s Marsa Alam Area Developments, paid tribute to President Nasser Al-Kharafi’s vision to turn what was once a flat coastal plain and eastern desert into a vibrant, international tourism destination.
“The fact that we are now expanding this airport by 200 percent is a testimony to that vision and to his confidence in Egyptian tourism and in the appeal of the Marsa Alam area,” he said.
The M.A. Kharafi Group has been conducting business in Egypt for more than 50 years and has presently in excess of $2.5 billion of investment in the country.
Marsa Alam International Airport, which opened in 2001, is on course to handle 480,000 passengers during 2006, up from 435,000 in 2005.
The challenge for the airport has been in handling the large amounts of weekend traffic from Europe, and the expansion plan will help meet future demand.
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