Sharm El-Sheikh adds TB3
IT IS Sharm El-Sheikh airport again. Only two years after it opened its second terminal building, the airport authority decided to take a step forward to expand its capacity by doubling it. Last Thursday, the Holding Company for Airports and Air Navigation (HCAAN) came to sign a contract with Spanish construction designers Pointec for a third terminal at the Red Sea resort.
According to Ibrahim Manaa, chairman of the HCAAN, the new terminal takes the total capacity of the airport from 7.5 million to 15 million passengers per annum.
"The project's primary costs are estimated at $350 million," stated Manaa in a signing ceremony in Cairo attended by Spain's Ambassador to Egypt Antonio Lopez. "The design phase is due to be completed within a year. International contractors then will be invited for an open tender to construct the terminal. It is scheduled to be completely constructed by 2012," he explained.
The project includes constructing a new terminal building for passengers, a new runway, and a new tarmac for aircrafts.
In May 2007, Sharm El-Sheikh airport celebrated operating its state-of-the-art terminal with a unique design that mixes Bedouin heritage with marine life characters. The terminal took airport capacity from 3 million to 7.5 millon passengers per annum.
"By the end of 2008, figures of traffic within airport hit a record of 7 million passengers which rang a warning alarm for us that we are about to face an overcapacity problem soon. Thus we launched the second stage of the expansion project," Manaa indicated.
He added that forecasts indicated that passenger movement within Sharm El-Sheikh airports would hit 12 million passengers within the next few years.