Iraq airport to be upgraded
May 20 - The Iraqi government is looking into upgrading all airports around the country to attract more airlines into starting new routes there. Plans for the expansion of Baghdad International Airport (BIAP) has been in talks since 2005 but the government needs to approve the master plan, said Dr Adnan Blebil, director-general of the Iraqi Civil Aviation Authority. The plan doubles the size of the current airport and will add three terminals, a two-and-a-half and three-and-a-half square kilometre cargo village and a free zone respectively.
A business park of one-and-a-half square kilometres will include conference and exhibition facilities, malls, hotels and the like. Connections to the existing rail and highway network just 1km away and an Aviation Academy are also afoot. The eventual expansion would create 70,000 jobs and, potentially, yearly revenues of Dh7.34 billion. “We’ve had interest from different groups over the years but nothing concrete yet. Anyone who is serious can start immediately. The airport is a very secure area surrounded by the military, ideal to invest in,” Blebil said.
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