The Ministry of Public Works and Transport signed an agreement with the Middle East Airlines (MEA) and Dar al Handasah (Shair and Partners) to the launch the studies to expand Beirut Rafic Hariri International Airport.
The study, which costs $742,000, is funded by MEA through a grant. Dar al Handasah will be in charge of preparing the study.
Riad Mneimneh, General Manager of Dar al Handasah, said: “The study is for the modernization of the master plan which was put together by our company in the 1990s.”
The original master plan studied the expansion of the airport at a capacity of six, nine, and 12 million passengers.
Mneimneh said: “This time, we will start the study for expansion at a capacity of 12, 18, and 24 million passengers.”
The study will examine where the expansion will take place and connections between terminals. A new terminal will be added. It will also optimize the use of existing buildings.
“When the study is completed, we would conduct a detailed design study,” he said.
The process will take around three years: The modernization study will take a maximum of six months, the design study a year, and a further year for the tender preparation and launch.
The decision was taken by the ministry after 2016 figures showed that passenger activity had reached 7.6 million. The airport was original developed with a capacity of six million passengers.
The expansion plan is expected to include one more terminal, passenger halls, and extra aprons for planes, according to MEA.