Morocco's Beni Mellal Airport has started operations after the completion of a reconstruction project worth MAD195.5m ($23.18m).
The project was a part of an agreement signed in April 2008 to offer better access to the Tadla-Azilal region, while ensuring a global, balanced and sustainable development.
King Mohammed VI of Morocco inaugurated the airport.
Situated 8km north-west of Beni Mellal, the new facility is part of the King's plan to provide the region with an airport that would attract developing international air traffic from European countries.
The air traffic is also expected to bring more tourists and large expatriates' communities to the Tadla-Azilal region.
Following the renovation project, the airport has the capacity to accommodate 150,000 passengers a year, as well as a new 1,500m² terminal with equipment that meets international quality and security standards.
The airport also features a departure area with a VIP lounge and an arrival zone.
The renovations also included the construction of a new control tower, installation of new navigation systems and high-intensity runway lights for guiding aircrafts during takeoff and landing.
The airstrip was reportedly extended, reinforced and broadened to help the airport receive medium-haul B737-800 type aircrafts.
Beni Mellal Airport is spread over a 170ha surface area and is part of a strategic plan by the Moroccan National Office for Airports.