The US$1.35 billion project is scheduled to be built in three phases. The first is for constructing the airport buildings; the second for establishing a free trade zone; and the third is for building the “Aerotropolis” – a complex of hotels and various retail and entertainment venues.
The ground breaking for the US$420 million first phase of the project will be this spring. Al Nasiryah Sheikha Eman Nassar Sabah Al-Nassar Al-Sabah, CEO of Al Nasriyah, said the airport is projected to be fully operational in early 2017. She told the Kuwait News Agency that the company plans to lead an international consortium of airport consultants, engineers and EPC contractors to build the facility and operate it for 45 years. When completed the airport will be the largest air cargo facility in Iraq.
The 4,324-acre airport, targeted at cargo operations, will have a 3,600- meter-long runway, 45 meters wide, which should be able to handle all types of aircraft.
The full-service Aerotropolis, will include an entertainment district, exposition center, public plaza, shopping center, hospital, medical center, sports complex, industrial parks, a university campus, a research and technology park just-in-time manufacturing facilities, There will also be space for industrial parks, a research and technology park, just-in-time manufacturing facilities, and mixed- use commercial and residential housing. The Aerotropolis will use an additional 4,324 acres, which will be leased to Al Nasriyah once phase three is ready to roll.
The entire project is expected to create more than 8,000 jobs for the people of the Diwaniya province.