The World Bank's Executive Board of Directors today approved a loan of $335 million for the Airports Development Project for in Egypt.
The project will assist the Government of Egypt in enhancing the efficiency of airport management and doubling the capacity of passenger terminals at Cairo and Sharm El-Sheikh International Airports by financing new passenger terminals.
In addition, the project aims at improving airport service quality in line with international standards and promoting private sector participation in airport management and service delivery in a competitive market.
With nearly fifty percent of Egypt's passenger traffic passing through Cairo International Airport, and actual passenger traffic close to the maximum capacity of nine million passengers, Cairo International Airport is not equipped to absorb additional traffic without a rapid deterioration in service standards. This is especially critical since three-quarters of passengers arrive from international destinations. The expansion of cargo traffic is also being constrained by congested facilities.
Similarly, rapid growth in passenger traffic due to increased tourism in the Red Sea resort of Sharm El-Sheikh, has made the expansion program for the airport in the southern tip of the Sinai peninsula vital for meeting international air transport demand and boosting foreign exchange earnings.
"The project will support the Government's on-going program to reform the civil aviation sector. It is also critically important for Egypt in providing experience in designing and financing large and complex infrastructure projects," said World Bank Country Director for Egypt, Mahmood Ayub.
"The Government was keen to involve the World Bank in the project to ensure best practice experience on technical, financial, environmental and safeguards issues. The project will also ensure transparent tendering processes, something that strengthens good governance."
By enabling two of Egypt's busiest airports to accommodate greater passenger traffic, the project supports the World Bank's country assistance strategy (CAS) for Egypt which seeks to achieve higher and sustained economic growth. The project will be implemented between July 2004 and December 2008. By the time it is completed, both Cairo and Sharm El-Sheikh Airports will be operating according to international service standards. — (menareport.com)
© 2004 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )