U$2 billion facelift for Baghdad airport

Baghdad's airport is receiving a facelift, with renovation work scheduled to begin next month.

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By  Barbara Cockburn Published  September 26, 2006

The project, worth up to US$2 billion, will be invested to build the airport and facilities around it, with investors from the US, Arab countries and Iraq. The renovation will involve three new terminals to increase passenger capacity from 1.5 million passengers a year (before the war) to 7.5 million passengers by 2010. The airport will have a hotel, convention centre, exhibition hall and business centre, among other facilities. Dr. Adnan Blebil, director-general of Iraq Civil Aviation Authority, said: “The rebuilding of the airport will take at least four years.” Iraq has signed air services agreements with Syria and Turkey. “We are aiming to sign similar agreements with Jordan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Iran and some other countries with whom talks are going on,” he said. Currently $2.4 million is paid every month towards security at the airport. Blebil said: “We are determined to make Iraq a safe country and allow free movement of aircraft and passengers and many countries in the region are helping us in achieving our goals.” The country's national carrier, he said, operates six leased aircraft.

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