Contract Canceled For New Abu Dhabi Airport Terminal

Years behind its original schedule, Abu Dhabi’s new airport terminal is facing another bump in the road. The airport operator has reportedly canceled a contract with a consortium tasked to build the Midfield Terminal Building. The contract was valued at 10.8 billion AED, equivalent to $2.94 billion.

Contract Canceled For New Abu Dhabi Airport Terminal
The terminal project was originally set to be finished by 2017. Photo: The Design Solution

Over four years late

According to Reuters, the consortium tasked with building the Midfield Terminal Building has had its contract canceled by the state-owned operator of the airport. The news comes from four sources familiar with the situation.

The consortium which has reportedly had the contract canceled consists of the following firms:

  • Arabtec (UAE)
  • TAV Insaat (Turkey)
  • Consolidated Contractors Company (Greece)

With a value equivalent to $2.94 billion, the consortium was awarded the contract in 2012. The target completion date of the megaproject was to be 2017.

The airport operator’s website issued its last update on the project at the end of December 2019, with no new updates since. TAV’s own website appears to be out of date, stating that the project “is scheduled to be completed in June 2019.”

Contract Canceled For New Abu Dhabi Airport Terminal
A drawing showing the layout of the new terminal’s interior. Photo: The Design Solution

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A new firm selected to complete project

Reports suggest that the contract was canceled due to project cost overruns. While Arabtec filed for liquidation in January 2021, Simple Flying has reached out to both TAV Insaat and Consolidated Contractors Company for comment on the matter.

At the present moment, both companies continue to display the Abu Dhabi Midfield Terminal project on their respective websites as projects being undertaken.

With the building nearly complete, two sources told Reuters that another firm has been selected to continue the work of completing the terminal’s construction. This firm is said to be Trojan, a construction company based in Abu Dhabi.

Contract Canceled For New Abu Dhabi Airport Terminal
Piers at the new building will accommodate up to 65 aircraft, including the Airbus A380. Photo: The Design Solution

What we can expect from the new terminal

On its website, TAV notes that the terminal covers 700,000 square meters of built-up area. This, it says, makes it the largest terminal in the region under a single roof. As we previously reported, this is what travelers can expect once the project is eventually completed:

  • Piers will accommodate up to 65 aircraft, including the Airbus A380
  • Check-in is capable of handling around 8,500 passengers per hour
  • Check-in will provide 165 conventional counters and 48 self-service kiosks
  • Baggage system is designed to process over 19,000 bags per hour with over 22 kilometers of conveying lines and 10 reclaim carousels
  • 136 security screening lanes for passengers, with a further 25 for staff
  • The building will be constructed using approximately 69,000 tons of steel, more than 680,000 cubic meters of concrete, and nearly 500,000 square meters of steel and glass cladding, 135,000 tons of rebar, 360,000 square meters of suspended ceilings, and 325,000 square meters of natural stone flooring

Meanwhile, 10,000 square meters have been allocated for international restaurants and cafes, and 27,500 square meters have been set aside for airline hospitality lounges, a transit hotel, and a “heritage and culture museum.”

Given the major downturn in international travel over the past year, it’s difficult to justify the new terminal at this point. However, with the project so close to the finish line, it would make sense to continue forward with the hope of a speedy recovery. Eventually, with enough time, the new terminal will be needed as aviation recovers and grows.

When do you think this building will finally open to travelers? Let us know in the comments.