Lebanon cancels new airport terminal project after controversy

Lebanon News
2023-03-30 | 04:59
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Lebanon cancels new airport terminal project after controversy
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Lebanon cancels new airport terminal project after controversy

On Thursday, Caretaker Minister of Public Works and Transport Ali Hamieh announced canceling the new airport terminal project, which was set to open in March 2027.  

In a tweet, Hamieh said: “Despite the importance of the project of constructing the new terminal for travelers, and in the wake of the legal controversy taking place in the country, and because the subject has taken a grant other than the direction and goal that we seek, and to resolve the difference in points of view, I announce it with all courage by not going through with the contract and considering it as if it does not exist.”  

This step was taken after Hamieh announced that Lebanon launched a new project to construct a terminal at the Beirut-Rafic Hariri International Airport to accommodate around 3.5 million passengers, with a foreign investment of $122 million.   

However, Ali Hamieh was the subject of criticism upon announcing this news since the project was announced with no tender. Additionally, it still needed to be approved by the Public Procurement Authority since the public procurement law was recently issued.    

But despite the claims, the Public Works Minister pointed out that the decision was to resort to attracting financing and investment from abroad, explaining that the Beirut Airport is subject to a particular law called the “airport fees” law.    

Last Friday, the Lebanese Court of Audit sent a memorandum to the Caretaker Minister of Public Works, requesting more information regarding the construction of a new airport terminal, including the legal basis on which the contracting was relied upon, the partnership law between the public and private sectors, and the method in which the contracting took place, namely the public tender and solicitation of bids.  
 

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