Lebanon’s Prime Minister Saad Hariri announced Wednesday a project to increase the capacity of Beirut Rafic Hariri International airport to accommodate 5 million additional annual passengers.
“Last year, more than 8 million passengers went through the airport and this year it will be even more,” Hariri said during the opening of the Middle East Airlines (MEA) Training and Conference Center, adding that in August alone “more than 2 million came to the airport.”
“Today we stand before a project to increase the capacity by more than 5 million extra passengers thanks to a grant from MEA to the Lebanese government,” Hariri added.
Hariri also recalled the doubt that surrounded his martyred father Rafic Hariri’s decision to revamp the airport, upping its capacity to 6 million passengers.
“People went crazy and asked where all the passengers would come from,” he said, adding “he considered this airport to be the face of Lebanon to the world, and it’s the first thing tourists see and it’s what we want investors to see in Lebanon.”
The hall in which Hariri was speaking would henceforth be known as the Riad Salameh Hall, he said, pointing that “the center would create some of the job opportunities that the Lebanese youth are in need of today.”