Lebanon: Beirut Airport to have new passenger terminal

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The Lebanese government announced Monday the start of construction of a new passenger terminal at Beirut’s Rafic Hariri International Airport, the only operational airport in the country, a project to be developed with private financing worth some $122 million.

“It will have an initial cost of more than $122 million, paid in full by the private sector and without the Lebanese state disbursing a single dollar,” Lebanese Minister of Public Works and Transport Ali Hamieh said during a presentation ceremony, according to a statement from the Presidency of the Council of Ministers.

The terminal is expected to be operational in the first quarter of 2027 and will be built by the ground services company Transporte Aéreo Libanés (LAT), currently in charge of various services at the airport’s already operational terminal, reported EFE.

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Hamieh said that the Irish state-owned Daa International group will be in charge of operating Terminal 2 of the capital’s aerodrome.

“This project will guarantee the airfield an additional capacity of 3.5 million passengers and will allow them to move smoothly, in addition to providing them, the planes and the airlines with all the services in an independent but complementary manner,” the minister explained.

Beirut’s Rafic Hariri Airport is the main gateway to Lebanon, which has no other international airfields and from which currently only overland travel is possible to Syria, a neighbor that has been embroiled in a civil war for almost 12 years.

The capital facilities often suffer from bottlenecks, especially in the immigration area, intensified by the shortage of staff and resources in the context of the severe economic crisis that the country has been suffering since the end of 2019.

The head of Public Works expects the project to serve as a “stimulus” in these times of “atrophy”, as it will create more than 500 direct jobs and about 2,000 indirect jobs, and will help promote tourism “all year round”.

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