Turkish airport operator TAV Airports, part of the TAV Group, is eyeing investments in the Middle East, banking on a massive $90 billion (Dh330 billion) in investment earmarked for the region’s airports over the next few years, according to the company’s chief executive.

The immediate target for the TAV Group, a well-known brand in airport construction and operations, which expects a chunk of its business to come from the UAE in the short term, will build the Midfield Terminal Building at Abu Dhabi International Airport.

“We are one of the shortlisted companies for the project along with Arabtec and CCC (Consolidated Contractors Company). Besides, we are already constructing the foundations of the Abu Dhabi International Airport Midfield Terminal. This shows our ties with all the big players in the Middle East market,” said Mustafa Sani Sener, CEO of TAV Group.

He added: “Our strategy is to continue to participate in airport projects in the region either on an investment basis through EPC (engineering, procurement and construction) contracts. And we are ready to participate in any kind of PPP [public private partnership] in the region as TAV Airports.”

TAV is already building Qatar airport’s terminal building together with Japanese company Taisei, Sener said, in addition to constructing runway and overall infrastructure at Muscat International Airport in Oman together with CCC. In the past, the Turkish company has built seven aircraft hangars for Emirates to house and maintain the Airbus 380 aircraft.

“TAV construction’s presence in the region represents 65 per cent of the company’s global portfolio. We have always wanted to be a part of the growth in infrastructure in the Middle East,” Sener said.

TAV Airports is preparing for the Madinah BOT tender in Saudi Arabia.

He added that Tav is benefiting from the geographical proximity of Turkey to the region and cultural commonality.

“Our advantage is our experience and knowledge capital in airport construction and operations,” Sener said.

The GCC, meanwhile, continues to allocate large investments in new and existing airports with major expansion in the region’s 1,200 international, domestic and defence airports as well as new projects that are expected to cost around $90 billion over the next few years, according to industry statistics.

In the UAE alone, investments in DWC-Al Maktoum International airport in Jebel Ali are an estimated $10 billion, while Concourse 3 at Dubai International is expected to cost nearly $1.17 billion.

Total investment in Abu Dhabi International Airport midfield, meanwhile, is forecast to reach $6.8 billion.

Other developments in the region include King Abdulaziz International Airport (KAIA) Development Phase 1 in Jeddah with an investment equivalent to $1.5 billion; new Doha International Airport around $11 billion; expansion of Muscat International Airport at $1.2 billion; Bahrain airport $335 million, and Kuwait International Airport estimated at $2.1 billion.

Statistics from the Airports Council International (ACI) and the International Air Transportation Association (IATA) support the numbers as the global aviation bodies predict airports in the Middle East will handle over 400 million passengers by 2020.

“The aviation sector is growing and will continue to grow in the region, while the global passenger numbers are expected to touch around 10 billion by 2025. The growth in airport operations industry must be parallel to the over growth in the aviation sector,” said Sener.
Source: Gulf News