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Kuwait studies plans to develop airport project worth $12bn

The government would provide the land, while the private sector would carry out the required construction, operation, and management activities

Kuwait is considering building a mega airport worth $12bn [representational image].
Kuwait is considering building a mega airport worth $12bn [representational image].

A new mega airport may be on the horizon for Kuwait, a senior aviation official has revealed.

Speaking at the Kuwait Investment Forum 2018 (KIF2018), Directorate General of the Civil Aviation (DGCA) chief Sheikh Salman Sabah Salem Al-Humoud Al-Sabah said that plans for a new facility are being considered to meet the country’s rapidly growing air traffic.

He further revealed that the new airport would likely get up to $12bn (KWD3.6bn) in investment and generate more than 15,000 jobs, Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) reported.

READ: Experts discuss the GCC’s largest aviation projects

"The State of Kuwait is studying putting up a tender for setting up a new airport with a capacity of 25 million passengers a year," he said.

"Taking into consideration the basic requirements for airport building, security, and safety standards and weather, the new airport will be located in northern Kuwait."

According to Al-Sabah, the site would facilitate the establishment of an integrated airport that would provide all transport and logistic services.

READ: Turkey's Limak signs $830m deal to fund Kuwait airport expansion

If the project materialises, the government would provide the land, while the private sector would carry out the needed construction, operation, and management activities.

"Assigning such a mega project to specialised international companies would be an optimal way to achieve partnership between [the] public and private sectors," he added.

“Kuwait will witness a rapid growth in passenger and cargo movement in the coming 20 years, so we study such projects.”

Al-Sabah noted that the air traffic at Kuwait International Airport has witnessed remarkable growth in recent years, with the airport accommodating 13.7 million passengers and 241,000 tons of air cargo in 2017.

"To keep pace with this growth, the DGCA has also revamped the existing airport through a number of projects, such as the construction of the new passenger terminal (T2) with a capacity of 25 million passengers annually, scheduled to complete by 2022," he said, adding that the DGCA had also started building a new passenger support terminal (T4).

"Work on this project is proceeding according to schedule," he said.

Moreover, the DGCA is developing two runways and a control tower at the Kuwait International Airport, and is in the first phase of construction of a “new cargo city” at the airport.

The city would be built on an area of three million square meters and is expected to be the largest in the Middle East, according to KUNA, quoting Al-Sabah, who also disclosed that Kuwait is finalising a new civil aviation law to encourage the establishment of new aviation companies.

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Construction Week - Issue 761
Mar 21, 2020