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Queen Alia airport launches second phase of expansion project

By JT - Jan 20,2014 - Last updated at Jan 20,2014

AMMAN — The Airport International Group (AIG) launched the second phase of the Queen Alia International Airport (QAIA) expansion project on Monday, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

The second phase, expected to be completed by 2017 at a cost of more than $100 million, will increase the facility’s capacity to around 12 million passengers annually.

Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour and Transport Minister Lina Shbeeb attended the launch.

The airport’s new 103,000-square-metre terminal opened in March last year.

Located around 35km south of Amman, the facility can handle 9 million passengers annually under the first phase, compared with the old terminal’s 3.5-million-passenger capacity, according to AIG.

The number of gates will be developed gradually to meet demand towards the 12-million-passenger target.

In the terminal’s first phase, seven new contact stands and one temporary remote boarding lounge came into operation, serving seven million passengers.

Under a build, operate and transfer deal signed with AIG in 2007, the government will gain ownership of the airport after 25 years, and will receive 54.4 per cent of revenues for the first six years and 54.6 per cent of gross revenues for the remainder of the term.

Shbeeb said the increase in the number of passengers coming to Jordan is proof of the Kingdom’s ability to maintain its stability and security amidst the turbulence and unrest sweeping the entire region.

During a tour of the airport, Ensour stressed the need to resolve all problems facing passengers, mainly the delay in receiving their baggage.

Shbeeb said passengers have been receiving their luggage within an average of 31 minutes after their plane lands, adding that work is under way to reduce it to 25 minutes.

AIG Chairman Nazim Al Qudsi said the new terminal has been ranked among the best 50 airports in the world in terms of service quality and passenger satisfaction, Petra reported.

QAIA was also voted by its passengers as one of 20 best international airports serving 5-15 million passengers annually, he said.

In June 2013, ISO-certified QAIA became the second airport in the Middle East to earn the Airport Carbon Accreditation, according to the AIG website.

Also on Monday, Ensour attended the opening ceremony of the airport’s baggage check centre established by the government in cooperation with the Japan International Cooperation Agency, Petra reported.

The premier thanked Japan’s people and government for their assistance to Jordan’s vital projects.

At the ceremony, Japanese Ambassador to Jordan Junichi Kosuge handed over modern airport security equipment worth 1,437,000,000 yen (around JD10,500,000) to QAIA.

The project aims at improving airport security “by installing security equipment such as large-scale X-ray inspection systems, explosive detection tomography systems and handheld metal detectors for cargo and passengers”, a Japanese embassy statement said.

“The modern security devices will increase screening capacity and accuracy, requiring much less time and effort than before. As a result, they will promote security at the airport and the Kingdom as a whole,” the embassy said.

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