Beirut airport announces construction of new $122 million terminal

Beirut airport is set to receive a major upgrade with the construction of a new $122 million terminal, according to officials. The new Terminal 2 at Beirut’s Rafik Hariri International Airport will be operated by Irish company daa International, which is also responsible for managing Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea Development Project. The airport, which has not been expanded since 1998, is looking to handle 3.5 million passengers annually when the new terminal opens in 2027.

Where is the new terminal in Beirut airport going to be?

The project is expected to bring in private sector investments worth $122 million and create 500 direct jobs and 2,000 related jobs. Terminal 2 will be built where the airport’s old cargo building used to stand. The new terminal will include six docking stands as well as remote ones and will cater to charter and low-cost flights.

Caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati said the project will “open more horizons for air aviation between Lebanon and the world” and help solve several problems, including overcrowding at the current terminal. The airport currently handles 8 million passengers a year and is planning to handle 20 million by 2030.

The announcement comes as Lebanon faces a severe economic crisis that has led to millions of people facing a cost-of-living crisis, with the currency losing over 95% of its value. The government has been unable to alleviate the issues that have pushed three-quarters of the country’s population of 6 million, including 1 million Syrian refugees, into poverty.

The new terminal will not only boost the country’s tourism sector, but it will also deepen business relations between Lebanon and Ireland. The project is expected to be completed within four years.

Could the new terminal help boost Lebanon’s struggling economy?

The construction of the new Terminal 2 at Beirut’s Rafik Hariri International Airport is being seen as a major boost for Lebanon’s struggling economy. The country has been grappling with a severe economic crisis that has led to skyrocketing inflation, rising unemployment, and political instability. In recent years, the tourism sector has been one of the hardest hit, with many visitors opting to stay away due to the ongoing political turmoil.

The new terminal, which is set to open in 2027, is expected to attract more low-cost airlines, charter and seasonal flights, and tourists. The project is also expected to create a significant number of jobs, providing a much-needed boost to the country’s labor market. This is particularly important given that Lebanon’s youth unemployment rate is among the highest in the world.

The decision to involve the private sector in the construction and operation of the new terminal is being seen as a positive step towards increasing productivity and efficiency in the country’s public facilities. It is hoped that this will attract further investment into Lebanon, which has been struggling to attract foreign capital in recent years.

Image Credit: REUTERS/Mohamed Azakir

Tags : Lebanon