Bahrain launched on Wednesday a multi-million project to expand the Bahrain International Airport and increase its capacity to accommodate 14 million passengers a year, Bahrain News Agency (BNA) reported.
HRH Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa laid the foundation stone for the new state-of-the-art building, in the presence of His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and First Deputy Prime Minister.
The $ 1.1 billion-project, which is the largest in the history of civil aviation in Bahrain, is among the mega development projects, worth more than $ 32 billion, to be implemented in the Kingdom within the coming years to boost the economic development efforts during the prosperous era of HRM King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, Prince Khalifa said, adding that the project will consolidate Bahrain's economic and tourism status and increase its competitive potentials as an outstanding hub for logistics services in the region.
“We face economic challenges by launching more development projects that revitalize the national economy and reflect positively on our potentials to spur growth and diversify revenue sources," he said, stressing that no challenges will impede the government's tireless efforts to implement the citizen-oriented policies,” he added.
The Prime Minister affirmed that the Bahrain International Airport Expansion Project serves the Kingdom’s policies which focus on attracting and promoting tourism and travel to the Kingdom as a tourism destination and a favorable strategic meeting point that links the regional and international markets.
Transportation and Telecommunications Minister Kamal bin Ahmed Mohammed asserted that openness has been a distinctive feature of Bahrain throughout history, as the best means to highlight and take advantage of its strategic location, which, he said, required developing infrastructure, especially in the logistics field.
The airport expansion includes a new passenger terminal covering an area of 201,467sqm, making it four times the size of the existing terminal.
It also features 24 air bridges, airport aprons, departure halls, check-in counters, passport control booths, security lanes, the Duty Free, jetty-served departure gates, passport control booths, e-Gates, baggage reclaim belts and car parks.
Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) has contributed $918 million to the Bahrain International Airport expansion project, General Manager Mohammed Al-Suwaidi said. He added that ADFD has committed to cover the largest share of the project total cost of $1.1 billion.
Al-Suwaidi said that the ADFD contribution comes as part of the GCC development program agreed upon in 2013. He pointed out the ADFD $2.5 billion commitment to support Bahrain’s infrastructure of transportation, housing, energy and road sectors over next 10 years.