The Iraqi government will invite international tenders before the end of December to build the Middle Euphrates Airport at Karbala, a senior provincial official told Zawya.
"Aeroports de Paris Ingenierie (ADPi) has completed the design, which cost USD 42 million. The Iraqi ministry of transportation will invite offers next month" said Dr. Abbas Hassani, the head of the Construction and Strategic Planning Committee in the provincial council.
Iraq is aggressively expanding the transportation infrastructure it needs to attract more investment into the economy. A joint bid by the Baghdad-based Fourth Dimension Company and the British Copperchase last month won a USD 125 million contract to develop and expand the international airport at Najaf.
Middle Euphrates Airport is expected to have the capacity to serve six million passengers each year in the first phase, a lot of them pilgrims who visit Karbala and Najaf each year. The project will include the construction of terminal buildings, a runway and aircraft gates. The airport will be developed in three phases, according to Zawya Projects.
Passenger handling capacity will increase to 12 million per year in the second phase and 20 million when complete. The Karbala airport is being built over 45,000 square meters, and is expected to cost USD 3 billion over its development cycle, Hassani said.
Iraq has four civilian airports, including one at Najaf. The largest is Baghdad International Airport; the others are at Basra and Mosul. Two more airports are at Erbil and Sulaymaniyah in Kurdistan.
"The new airport will facilitate movement of passengers to the Holy City and it will attract more investments for the three provinces," Dr. Asaad Acode, professor of business administration at Baghdad University, told Zawya.