Bahrain is planning a massive expansion of its international airport, which will allow the airport to handle up to 15 million passengers a year.
The current airport was designed to handle up to three million passengers a year.
According to a senior Civil Aviation Affairs (CAA) official, the airport authorities are currently refining the concept design to come up with the best solution to meet the needs of the market.
The project was originally estimated to cost $334 million, but due to soaring labour and materials costs plus revisions to the expansion plan, the project is expected to cost more than $800 million, according to officials.
The expansion will cater to the increase in passenger and aircraft traffic up to 2015, with passenger figures expected to grow rapidly and reach around 12 million to 15 million per annum by that time. Further expansions are planned to increase capacity to up to 45 million a year, long term.
Electronic swipe cards
An electronic swipe card system which allows travellers to pass through Bahrain International Airport without going through immigration checks has passed a two month trial.
They are currently operational in the arrival hall and will soon be commissioned in the departure hall, the Supreme Committee for Information and Communication Technology (SCICT) announced recently.
The system is expected to speed up passenger flow through the airport.