The Jordanian government has signed a US$ 700 million agreement with the AIG (Airport International Group) to rehabilitate, operate and expand the existing Queen Alia International Airport, QAIA, in what is described as Jordan’s largest ever BOT agreement.
The AIG consortium consists of the Edgo Group, Joannou & Paraskevaides (Overseas) Limited, Noor Financial Investment Company, J&P-Avax, Abu Dhabi Investment Company, and Aeroports de Paris Management, who won the tender launched by the Government of Jordan in April 2007 and signed the Rehabilitation, Expansion and Operation Agreement on May 19, 2007.
Norman Foster + Partners, were the architects chosen to design the new airport buildings, in what is described as a new state of the art airport which will be completed by 2013. The announcement of the expansion of the airport coincides with a sharp increase in the number of arrivals to the airport which is partly due to the boom in the tourism industry in Jordan, which saw a 50 % rise in tourists year-on-year compared to 2006. With Petra being recognized as a new 7 wonder of the world, there was a marked increase in interest by visitors the world over to visit the major tourist attractions of Jordan.
The new facility will cover an area of over 85000 sq meters. Under the 25 year old concession agreement, AIG will be responsible for all aspects of the operation of the airport, transforming it into a world class airport that adheres to international standards.
From his part, Chairman of AIG, Salem Al Ameri said “An early transitional period has been planned, starting with the implementation of visible improvements with quicker passenger flows, upgrades to the quality of the current facilities and the development of new services or enhancement of existing ones.”
The next BOT agreement is expected to be the new Amman to Zarqa light railway project, where several international companies were rumoured to be involved in the bidding process.