(MENAFN) Lebanon is set to construct a new terminal at Beirut's Rafik Hariri International Airport at a cost of $122 million. The new Terminal 2 is planned to bring in private sector investments worth $122 million and is expected to handle 3.5 million passengers annually, according to officials cited by ABC News. The terminal will be operated by an Irish airport company and is expected to be completed in four years.
Lebanon's only international airport had a major facelift after the country’s 1975-90 civil war and has been working at full capacity for years. The airport has not undergone an expansion since 1998, which led to crowding at the current terminal. The new terminal will help solve this problem, as well as create 500 direct jobs and 2,000 related jobs, according to Caretaker Minister of Public Works and Transport Ali Hamie.
Terminal 2 will be built where the old cargo building used to stand, according to Hamie. The project will focus on chartered and low-cost flights, and will be for passengers who are coming to Lebanon or leaving the country. The new terminal will also be equipped with six docking stands as well as remote ones, Hamie said in a ceremony at government headquarters to announce the launch of the new terminal.
The project comes as Lebanon is in the throes of its worst economic and financial crisis in its modern history, rooted in decades of corruption and mismanagement by the country’s political class. Caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati said that the project opens up more horizons for air aviation between Lebanon and the world and will help in solving several problems, including crowding at the current terminal.
The construction of Terminal 2 is a significant investment in Lebanon's future and will provide much-needed infrastructure to the country's airport. The expansion will also help boost the local economy by creating jobs and attracting more tourists to the country. Lebanon is hoping that the construction of the new terminal will help turn its economic fortunes around and usher in a new era of prosperity for the country.
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