Dubai: Six consortia have submitted bids to build Abu Dhabi International Airport's Midfield Terminal Complex (MTC), part of the airport's Dh25-billion redevelopment plan.

The cost of the MTC project is an estimated $3.2 billion (Dh11.7 billion). Al Habtoor-Murray & Roberts, Bechtel-Al Jaber, Hyundai Engineering & Construction-Kumho, Larsen & Toubro-NPC, Samsung-ACC and TAV-CCC have submitted bids for the project that will drastically increase passenger handling capacity at the UAE capital's main aviation gateway.

The MTC building, which is expected to go live in the first half of 2017, is the key component of the development programme at the airport and it will contribute to the long-term success of the aviation sector in Abu Dhabi emirate.

Abu Dhabi International Airport is one of the fastest growing airports in the world, with growth rates of 19.7 per cent over the last five years, spurred by the rapid growth of its hub airline, Etihad Airways.

Robust growth

Growth over the next 20 years is forecast to be robust, and additional facilities are required to accommodate the demand.

The 700,000-square-metre terminal building is one of the most crucial projects to be undertaken in Abu Dhabi and the UAE and will initially handle 27-30 million passengers per year. Khalifa Al Mazroui, Chairman of Adac, said, "Adac's commitment continues as it strives to sustain growth in passenger numbers by constantly planning major developments and improvements across the airports' infrastructure, facilities and services."

Following commencement of extensive site preparation and foundation works in 2010, construction of the MTC building is planned to begin in the second quarter of 2012 to become the future home of Etihad Airways, the national airline of the UAE, and the primary gateway to the emirate.

"High oil prices and sustained government support have turned a few GCC airlines into global contenders; namely Emirates, Qatar Airways and Etihad. These governments are pursuing, with notable success, a global aviation hub model whereby millions of passengers transit through the airport on their way to their final destinations," M.R. Raghu, head of Research at Kuwait-based research organisation Markaz, said.