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Prime Minister Barzani announces construction of Duhok International Airport

WED, 11 JUL 2012 13:04 | KRG Cabinet

Duhok, Kurdistan Region – Iraq (KRG.org ) Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani this week announced that the foundation stone for Duhok International Airport will be laid within two months. The future airport will further strengthen tourism and trade links in Duhok, which is one of Iraq's most prosperous governorates.

The premier’s news came in a statement also unveiling broader government investment in a range of public works, including a healthcare project to build hospitals in the city, town and districts of Duhok. Addressing the issue of the current shortfall in Kurdistan’s infrastructure, he said, “We want to create an organized foundation for an optimistic future.”

During his visit to the province, Prime Minister Barzani met with the Governor of Duhok Tamar Ramadhan and other Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) officials to discuss the airport as well as the construction of more schools and hospitals in the Kurdistan Region.

The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Ministry of Transport and Communications and international construction companies are currently in negotiations on an agreement to build the first international airport to be located within the Governorate of Duhok. The proposed builders have been invited by the Ministry to assemble a team of investors, developers, construction and concessionaire companies to finance, build and operate the airport.

The KRG has allocated approximately 1,500 hectares of publicly-owned land to the airport project, which is located north of the city, will cost an estimated$450 million and will accommodate around one million travellers and 34,000 tons of cargo annually.

The 18,000 square-metre terminal will have 18 check-in desks, immigration facilities, press, tobacco, souvenirs & duty-free shops, restaurants, cafes, a minimarket, bureau de change, banks, a prayer room, a modern baggage-handling system, as well as six arrival and departure gates with direct bus access. The airport’s main runway will be designed to handle narrow and wide bodied aircraft. It will also have a state-of-the-art control tower, which will house the aerodrome control, approach radar control, avionics equipment, a workshop, a ground lighting (AGL) equipment room and staff welfare facilities. The project is expected to take less than three years to build.

Duhok is one of the governorates in the federated Kurdistan Region in Iraq. It has a population of over 1 million people, which is growing rapidly due to the migration of Kurds from other parts of Iraq, as well as Iraqi Arabs seeking security and better job prospects. Duhok is a significant domestic tourist destination due to its milder climate, mountains and historic sites. The region also benefits from Kurdistan’s growing oil and gas exploration industries. It is a strategic location for trade between Turkey, Syria and the rest of Iraq, as well as increased investment in the retail, manufacturing and service sectors since 2003, most of which comes from nearby Turkey.