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A new identity for Queen Alia Airport
March 2012 658

Tthe new Queen Alia International Airport (QAIA) terminal is currently in its final stage of construction, to start operation in the next 12 months. AIG, a Jordanian consortium of companies which has gathered regional investors and international experts in construction and airport operations, was appointed to manage the current QAIA terminal and redevelop Jordan’s premier gateway under a 25-year Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) concession. The total investment value for the new terminal is approximately $700 million. Additionally, Airport International Group (AIG) has invested $100 million toward upgrading the current facilities so as to provide improved services at a time when passenger numbers were experiencing an unprecedented growth.

TTN’s Maysa Zureikat spoke with chief executive officer of Airport International Group (AIG), Kjeld Binger, to get an update on the development.

When will the new airport be ready to welcome traffic?

The launch of the new terminal at Queen Alia International Airport (QAIA) is considered one of the key milestones in the airport’s legacy, which is why AIG is working around the clock to ensure a seamless transition for all the stakeholders involved. The terminal, which is essentially a reinvented and fully functional airport in and of itself, is expected to become operational within the next 12 months. It is important to bear in mind that the process of shifting operations from the existing terminal – planned to take place as a one-time overnight transfer – is a fundamentally complex one that involves innumerable variables, beginning with QAIA’s employees and customers and reaching its governing entities and stakeholders.

What is the new airport’s capacity?

The current airport’s operational capacity is defined at 3.5 million passengers per year, whereas in reality we are catering to well over 5.4 million passengers annually. As the first phase of the new terminal construction completes, a total of seven new contact stands will come into operation. Additionally, the demolishing of the airport’s existing terminal will signal another phase of the expansion plan, which entails the creation of seven additional contact stands, catapulting the total capacity to nine million passengers per year. Building on that, AIG will continue to enhance and expand the airport as needed, gradually increasing passenger capacity toward the 12 million passengers per year.

What should travellers expect to see? What special services does the QAIA offer?

Considerable planning and effort were invested in the design and implementation of the new terminal building so as to ensure customer satisfaction. Space, variety and quality were key priorities. For instance, the duty free area has been significantly expanded to feature additional retailers and a considerably more wide-ranging product and service portfolio. The terminal will also feature vastly improved food and beverage services, expanded business and VIP lounges and substantially larger office and storage spaces. In terms of the traffic flow inside the terminal, the new building is ergonomically designed to allow passengers easy access to the transit lounge and shopping areas directly from the security checkpoint. Additionally, the implementation features extra attention to detail, with clearly marked dual language signs, sufficient flight information screens, comfortable seating in waiting areas, as well as a centralized and efficient customer assistance counter.

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