The Minister of Public Works & Transport announced on Twitter yesterday plans to build a new terminal at the Beirut-Rafic Hariri International Airport with a foreign investment of $122 million, noting that no expansion plans have been undertaken at the current airport since 1998.
However, Lebanon’s imminent need is for a new airport far away from Beirut, not for a new terminal. No new terminal is going to fix the problems surrounding the existing airport, from random shootings at airplanes, piles of garbage attracting flocks of birds, the insecurity in surrounding areas as well as many other factors. On top of all that, it is unclear how the bid was conducted and won and what is the nature of this investment in hundreds of millions.
The project is expected to be completed fully in a period of four years and is aimed at welcoming low-cost carriers, seasonal and charter flights and tourists. It will create 500 jobs and can welcome up to 3.5 million passengers per year. At the end of the promotional video shared by the minister, it claims the terminal will be a “new aspiration for world travelers”. I wonder who these world travelers will be.
البدء بمشروع إنشاء المبنى الجديد للمسافرين في المطار لاستيعاب ٣،٥ مليون مسافر،وباستثمار خارجي بقيمة ١٢٢مليون د بتشغيل أوروبي، وهو رافد للإيرادات،موفر لحوالي ٢٥٠٠ فرصة عمل ومستقطب لشركات الطيران منخفضة التكلفة والرحلات العارضة والناقلة للحجاج والمعتمرين والزائرين والسياح الموسميين pic.twitter.com/K1lWWrQh1b
— Ali Hamie | علي حمية (@alihamie_lb) March 20, 2023