By Ajnadin Mustafa.
Tripoli, 16 August 2015:
Less than a week after the Beida-based government announced that Tripoli International Airport had been renamed . . .[restrict]Idris International Airport after the late King Idris, an official based in the capital has unveiled a plan to rebuild its destroyed terminal and other buildings.
Mohamed Beitelmal, head of the airport authority, said that the plan to reconstruct the terminal had been decided by Khalifa Ghwell, Tripoli-based premier appointed by the General National Congress (GNC).
The Organisation for Development of Administrative Centers (ODAC) has been asked to sign a contract with specialised companies to carry out the procurement, according to Beitelmal.
“Currently, local firms have begun to remove debris from the site and prepare the area,” he said, adding that he had already held several meetings with the authorities over scrap metal recycling.
The airport has been out of action since it was destroyed by Libya Dawn fighters led Misratan hardliner Salah Badi in summer 2014 and the internationally recognised government fled to Beida.
According to Beitelmal, a technical team comprising the airport authority and ODAC has been formed to work with a Turkish company, and is preparing a draft plan for the construction and its completion.
Without elaborating on the cost of project, the official said the plan envisaged further studies which would be offered to the Tripoli-based government.
The reconstruction cost, however, has previously been estimated to be at least one billion dollars.
The latest announcement does not appear to take into account the unfinished new terminal, work on which started before the revolution by Aeroports de Paris.
The airport, originally built by the Italians and named Castel Benito Airport after the Italian dictator Benito Mussolini, was renamed Idris Airport in 1951 and remained as such until 1969 when it became Tripoli International Airport. [/restrict]