(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) The government of Kuwait has planned a 6 billion spending to expand it's international airport to handle 13 million passengers by 2016, a top official of civil aviation authority said on Tuesday.
The expansion plan will double the existing passenger capacity of the airport in the next four years. Construction will begin this year on adding a terminal and renovating infrastructure to increase the capacity, Kuwait Civil Aviation President Fawaz Abdul Aziz Al Farah told reporters on the sidelines of the Airport Show.
The airport was built to handle seven million travellers annually, but it reported 8.5 million passengers handled last year. The figure may exceed nine million this year, Al Farah said. The airport expansion is part of the oil-rich Gulf state's 111 billion four-year development plan, which was revealed in February 2010 to build a subway and rail network, expand the airport and construct power stations, hospitals, roads and a port.
Other Gulf countries like the UAE and Qatar are building airports and expanding existing ones to accommodate growth in travel.
Al Farah mentioned that the capacity of the airport may be expanded to 25 million passengers by 2025 and 50 million people by 2035.
On October 3, 2011, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation announced that a new Foster plus Partners-designed terminal will begin construction in 2012 and will increase the annual passenger handling amount to 13 million passengers in its first phase with the option of expanding to 25 million passengers.
It is estimated that 3 billion will be spent on the development plan to expand the passenger terminal, he said, adding that the other 3 billion will be spent on other projects, including widening the runways, a new control tower and a new cargo town.
The airport serves as hub for Jazeera Airways and Kuwait Airways. It underwent a massive renovation and expansion from 1999 to 2001.