Following on its successful completion of the Al Ghadeer Housing Investment Project in Najaf and its works with the Hyundai company at the Karbala Refinery, the Iraq branch of the UK company Copperchase has secured the rights to build Phase 1 of the Karbala International Airport (KIA), formerly the Mid-Euphrates International Airport (MEIA).
In October 2008, the Government of the Republic of Iraq, the Iraqi Ministry of Transport (MOT) and the Iraqi Civil Aviation Authority (ICAA) announced a decision to create a new Airport in the Karbala Governorate, strategically located between the cities of Karbala, An Najaf and Al Hillah, in a region of Iraq rich on many aspects: economic, touristic, historical and spiritual.
The French company, Aéroports de Paris Ingénierie (ADPI) were contracted by the Iraqi Ministry of Transport to conduct site selection studies leading to the development of an Airport Master Plan and Detailed Design of the airport consisting of two runways, its associated taxiways and aprons, passenger terminal buildings and associated support facilities.
In 2014, the project ownership was transferred from MOT to Al Ataba Husseinia to seek investors willing to participate. Following a series of high-level meetings between Copperchase and Al Ataba where Copperchase presented their technical and financial credibility, an MOU was signed, paving the way for Copperchase to start works. The following day, Copperchase mobilised its plant and machinery to the Karbala site where surveying and levelling has been performed up to this point.
The Copperchase defined Phase -1 of KIA comprises, building part of Terminal 1, a 4.5 Km Runway, Apron, part of the Taxiway structure, an ATC Tower and other service buildings within 24 months. The objective passenger capacity of Phase 1 of the airport will be 2 million passengers annually.
The project is privately financed by funds from Al Rida Investment Group (RIG) and Khairat Al-Subtain (KAS).
In addition to building the airport, Copperchase has also secured the rights to operate the airport for the next 25 years.
Over time, Copperchase intends to fully develop all the additional elements of the airport (ADPI Design) from operating revenue profits but also welcomes enquiries from other investment companies that would like to participate, taking on elements such as Hotels, Car Parking, Retail and other supporting facilities.