Lebanon is planning to build a new terminal at Rafik Hariri International Airport in Beirut with the aim of accommodating a projected increase in travellers.

According to an AP report, an international tender will be launched for the construction of the second airport terminal soon.

Quoting Lebanon’s Minister of Public Works and Transport Ali Hamie, the news agency added that the tender for the $70m project is currently being prepared.

The project will be executed by the private sector and is expected to generate hundreds of jobs during the construction period.

Once complete, the new terminal is intended for use by chartered and low-cost flights as well as Muslim pilgrims.

The Beirut Airport underwent a major revamp after the civil war ended in 1990. It has been operating at full capacity for several years.

The airport sustained moderate damages following two very large explosions at the Beirut port in 2020. The incident killed more than 200 people and injured thousands.

According to the website of the national carrier Middle East Airlines (MEA), the airport currently handles around eight million passengers annually. The figure may increase to 20 million by 2030.

Lebanon is expected to record a sharp rise in traveller numbers following a period of decreased numbers due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Lebanon’s Minister of Tourism Walid Nassar said the country may receive between 10,000 and 12,000 passengers a day, or around one million passengers over the next three months.