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Named as one of the world's top 40 public-private partnership (PPP) projects, Jordan's Queen Alia International Airport (QAIA) has received 'Gold' recognition as Best Emerging Market Infrastructure Project for Europe, Central Asia, the Middle East and North Africa in Emerging Partnerships.
Co-released by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Infrastructure Journal (IJ), and funded by the Public-Private Infrastructure Advisory Facility (PPIAF), the Emerging Partnerships publication recognizes the 40 best PPPs in emerging markets around the world today. The winning PPPs, selected from projects nominated by governments, industry, NGOs, academia and other organizations following a global call for submissions, demonstrated best practices for governments working with the private sector to provide a wide range of public services and to spur economic development in their countries.
Managed by Airport International Group (AIG), the Jordanian consortium responsible for the rehabilitation, expansion and operation of QAIA, QAIA was chosen as best in category from among 120 eligible submissions by four independent regional judging panels of prominent PPP experts. Selection criteria focused on financial innovation, technological innovation, developmental vision, replicability and impact. QAIA and the other winning candidates will be recognized at an awards ceremony in April 2013 in Washington D.C. during the International Monetary Fund-World Bank Spring Meetings.
Considered Jordan's most important PPP, the task of managing and redeveloping QAIA was awarded to AIG in 2007, under a 25-year Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) concession by the Government of Jordan following an open international tender. Since AIG took over QAIA's operations, traffic has continued to rise from around 3.5 million passengers in 2007 to over 6 million passengers in 2012. QAIA's newest terminal, inaugurated by His Majesty King Abdullah II on 14th March, 2013, officially began its full operations on 21st March, bringing the airport's capacity to 9 million passengers per year. A second expansion phase will eventually raise annual capacity to 12 million passengers.
"PPPs are a time-tested and proven Public Procurement method of efficiently bridging the gap between infrastructure needs and investment. Using private financing, design, building and operation of infrastructure has emerged as one of the most important models worldwide for delivering better infrastructure results," said AIG CEO, Kjeld Binger. "We are very proud of, and deeply value, our close partnership with the Government of Jordan as we work together to position Queen Alia International Airport as a powerful economic asset for all Jordanians. Together, and by raising the Kingdom's prime airport's capacity, we aim to bolster Jordan's tourism industry and open the door for greater economic opportunities."
As indicated by IFC, the new airport is expected to create 23,000 jobs and will enable Jordan to strengthen its position as a tourist and economic center by offering an exceptional travel experience to business and leisure travelers, setting QAIA as a convenient transfer hub. The Kingdom's newest terminal spans 100,000 square meters and is equipped with the latest technologies, facilities and automation systems to maximize efficiency, security and service quality.