Off to a flyer

Yamurai Zendera checks on progress at Queen Alia International Airport

ANALYSIS, Projects, Jordan, Queen Alia International Airport
ANALYSIS, Projects, Jordan, Queen Alia International Airport

Yamurai Zendera looks back at the inauguration of the revamped Queen Alia International Airport in Jordan and updates on the status of phase two.

March 2013 marked the official opening of the new Queen Alia International Airport passenger terminal building in Amman, Jordan.

Inaugurated by His Majesty King Abdullah II, the new 100,000m2 terminal increases the airport’s capacity to handle approximately nine million passengers annually, further expanding its role as a regional hub and tourist destination anticipated to boost economic growth and commercial trade in Jordan.

Construction for the project began in November 2007. Demolition of the existing terminal and additional expansion of the new terminal is currently underway as part of the project’s next phase, said Javier Gonzalez, vice president of global aviation at Louis Berger, which was appointed as EPC engineering consultant.

In the second phase of the project, the terminal will be expanded to provide services for 12 million passengers. Gonzalez said talks are ongoing between investor Airport International Group (AIG) and the contractor – the joint venture of Joannou & Paraskevaides and J&P-AVAX S.A, about the basis for determining the scope of the construction of phase two. At the moment the start date is tentatively set for October although this could change.

“When the master plan was developed in 2007 the airport wasn’t expected to be reaching nine million passengers until 2020 but the growth in traffic of passengers and aircraft movements has been fantastic over the last five years,” says Gonzalez.

“Also, as part of the construction agreement the masterplan needs to be updated and the traffic forecasts have to be updated. That’s why the scope of construction for phase two is still under discussion.”

Gonzalez said the main challenge for all the entities involved in the project was creating a modular airport that can be extended without the need for massive investment.

“Due to this fast growth which has happened in the last five years, the need (for) a modular and progressive growth of the airport has been evident,” he said.

Around 1,100 workers were used at the peak of phase one in July 2011.

In March this year, the IFC – part of the World Bank Group - and Infrastructure Journal highlighted the achievements of the public-private partnership which built the project as a model which demonstrated best practice for private finance within an emerging market. It was highlighted in Emerging Partnerships – a publication looking at some of the best privately-financed infrastructure projects around the world.

“Infrastructure development is critical for growth and poverty reduction in developing countries, and well-structured public-private partnerships can pave the way forward,” said Laurence Carter, Director of IFC Advisory Services in Public-Private Partnerships.

John Kjorstad, editor of Infrastructure Journal, said: “These projects have improved the daily lives of tens of millions of people by providing new infrastructure services. Increasingly, governments are turning to PPPs as an affordable funding method.”

It has also won a Cityscape Architectural Review award for its innovative design.
Mouzhan Majidi, chief executive of lead designer Foster + Partners, said: “Queen Alia International Airport has been an extraordinary project – it has transformed Amman into a niche hub, while offering critical growth for the wider economy through regional links.
“The new terminal building is energy efficient, will accommodate phased expansion and provides a dynamic symbol for Jordan.

“It has been a pleasure to work with our Jordanian colleagues and the team at AIG, and it is great to see the results of this work come to life today.”

Project team

The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, acting by and through the Ministry of Transport (MoT)

Airport International Group, PSC (AIG) - a consortium composed of:
1- Aéroports de Paris Management
2- Joannou & Paraskevaides (Overseas) Ltd.
3- J&P-Avax S.A.
4- Abu Dhabi Investment Company
5- Noor Financial Investment Company
6- Edgo Group

EPC Contractor:
Joint Venture of Joannou & Paraskevaides (Overseas) Ltd and J&P – AVAX SA.

EPC engineering conultant:
Louis Berger

Rehabilitation, Expansion and Operation Agreement Independent Engineer (REOA IE):
Joint Venture of WSP and Consolidated Consultants (CC)

Lead Designer/Architect:
Foster + Partners

Airport Systems Designer:
Aéroports de Paris Ingénierie (ADPi)

Infrastructure/External Works Designer:
Dar Al-Handasah

In Numbers:
- 2007 Construction starts
- 2013 Official opening
- 1,100 Number of workers at peak
- 116,000m2 Footprint of expanded terminal

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