The key project of its $1.1 billion Airport Modernisation Programme (AMP), the new terminal at Bahrain International Airport is expected to prove transformational for the Gulf gateway when it opens for business in 2019.
Four times the size of the terminal it is replacing, it will have the capacity to serve 14 million passengers per year and, according to Mohamed Yousif Al-Binfalah, CEO of Bahrain Airport Company (BAC), it is set to make a big impression on passengers.
“Our new terminal won’t be the biggest in the region and we will never become the biggest airport, but I assure you that it will allow us to provide an exceptional passenger experience in terms of efficiency, comfort and technology,” he enthuses.
“I promise that the new terminal building will be very special and position the airport to be at the forefront of providing an exceptional passenger experience for all.
“We are creating a boutique airport in the sense that passengers will feel the difference when they arrive here and experience our facilities as compared to others. Walking distances will be short, processing times quick and easy and customer service standards high.”
Also on the agenda as part of the AMP are plans to enhance the airfield and add new facilities ranging from a maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) base, fuel farm, fire rescue station and two multi-storey car parks to a central utilities centre and new power sub-stations and water treatment plant.
Indeed, such is the size of the project that BAC is effectively building a new gateway on the existing airport site and Al-Binfalah expects that it will transform the airport and people’s perceptions of it.
The 201,000sqm complex will boast a 4,600sqm Departures Hall, centrally located 9,000sqm retail, duty free and F&B zone area, five E-gates for arriving passengers and a host of new airline lounges as well as unique facilities such as a national museum and art gallery.
Al-Binfalah says BAC wants the one-kilometre long building to be Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certified by the US Green Building Council.
ADPI won the international tender to design the terminal and supervise its construction. Hill International is the programme manager. BAC is overseeing
the project on behalf of the airport
owner, Bahrain’s Ministry of Transportation and Telecommunications.
A joint venture between Dubai-listed Arabtec and Turkey’s TAV Construction is building the new passenger terminal at Bahrain airport.
China’s CIMC has been awarded a contract for the construction of the terminal’s airbridges; Vanderlande will supply the baggage handling system (BHS); L3 Communications is to provide its security screening equipment; and, Finland’s Kone will provide its horizontal and vertical transfer systems.
BAC will be helped in its task by Fraport AG Frankfurt Airport Services Worldwide, which has signed a multi-year contract to provide comprehensive Operational Readiness and Airport Transfer (ORAT) consulting services for the new passenger terminal.
The contract also covers the airport’s new apron area, fire station, fuel farm and aircraft maintenance facilities.
Under the terms of the deal, Fraport, is providing its full range of ORAT services bundled in three consulting phases, running over 32 months and requiring a total of 4,700 project man-days.
Dr Stefan Schulte, Fraport AG’s executive board chairman, stated: “The size and scope of this consulting project underscores the Bahrain Airport Company’s commitment to developing Bahrain as a leading international aviation gateway in the years to come.
“Not only is this our largest ORAT contract to date, it is our most comprehensive – whereby we will be delivering operational readiness services and solutions before, during and after the inauguration of Bahrain’s new terminal.”
The new terminal project is primarily being funded by the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD), an autonomous organisation set up to help countries achieve “sustainable socio-economic growth”.
Al-Binfalah adds: “We firmly believe that the project we are currently managing at BIA will completely transform our industry and be one of the most important platforms for economic growth in Bahrain’s aviation history.”
“Once completed, it will revamp all aspects of the airport’s operations to accommodate the growing demands of today’s travellers, who will be passing through a state-of- the-art airport four times its current size, catering to 14 million passengers each year. This will make the AMP a major contributor to Bahrain’s Economic Vision 2030.”