On 14 May 1968, the Sharm El Sheikh Airport was opened as an Israeli Air Force base. However, after the signing of the Egypt–Israel peace treaty in 1979 and subsequent Israeli withdrawal from the Sinai Peninsula, Sharm El Sheikh Airport was reopened as a civilian airport.
To date, the airport which was previously known as Ophira International Airport is the third-busiest airport in Egypt after Cairo International Airport and Hurghada International Airport. It comprises a total of two runways and three terminals (Terminals 1, 2, and 3). The first two terminals are functional while the third airport is still under development.
Development of the third terminal at Sharm El Sheikh Airport
The third terminal was announced back in 2008 by the Egyptian Airports Holding Company (EAHC). In July 2009 the Egyptian Holding Company for Airports and Air Navigation (EHCAAN) signed a design contract for the project. The contract was signed with Spanish construction designer Pointec.
The design phase was completed by early 2010 following which International contractors were invited for an open tender to carry out the project. The project would not only include the construction of the terminal but also a runway adjacent to the el Salam road. Taxiways and aprons were also set to be constructed as part of this project in addition to other associated infrastructure.
These infrastructures include an electrical or mechanical plant, sheds for security services, a mosque, a car parking area, and a wastewater treatment facility. The implementation of the project was scheduled to be completed by 2015 at an estimated cost of $420 million.
Reported on February 2015
AFDB to fund construction of Egyptian Airport
The Sharm El-Sheikh International airport has received US$140 million from the African Development Bank (AFDB) to facilitate its expansion project. The expansion involves constructing a new terminal (terminal 3) and a runway in order to increase the passenger handling capacity by 10 to 18 million per year.
AFDB has pledged to continue supporting the Egyptian government through increased lending which will finance the irrigation and energy sectors and small and medium enterprises (SMEs). AFDB has approved over 4,501 projects amounting to $118.7 billion from 1967 when it commenced its operations by the end of 2013.
In addition, Islamic Development Bank (IDB) last year October announced it would contribute US$230.2m for the same project.