to Build Major Hub Airport for Africa
Ethiopia’s transport ministry is finalizing plans to start
building a new airport for the capital Addis Ababa in 2016.
The facility, which is expected to take eight years to build
at a cost of up to around $4 billion, is intended as a major
new hub airport for African air transport, according to
Ethiopian transport minister Workneh Gebeyehu. In late
September, he told the Airport, Infrastructures and MRO
conference in Addis Ababa that the development will feature
four runways and will have capacity for more than 100
million passengers per year.
“It’s not only a runway and terminal that we are going to
build,” Ethiopian Airports Enterprise CEO Tewodros Dawit told AIN.
“The airport city will make Ethiopia a hub for the whole
region.” Comparing the new development to airports in Dubai and
London, he said that it will include hotels, shopping malls,
office buildings and homes.
The Ethiopian government has narrowed down the choice of
prospective sites for the new airport to three, all of which are
between 37 and 44 miles of the center of the Addis Ababa. French
airport engineering specialist ADPI is conducting the planning
study for the new facility.
Meanwhile, Ethiopian Airports Enterprise is completing a $350
million expansion of the existing Addis Ababa Bole International
Airport. This project is due to be completed in 2018 and should
triple current passenger capacity of 7 million per year.
In 2013, Ethiopian Airlines overtook South African Airways and
Egypt Air to become Africa’s largest carrier. Apart from 17
Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 twin turboprops in regional airline
service, the flagcarrier’s 76-strong fleet entirely consists of
Boeing aircraft, including 13 of the new 787-8 Dreamliners.
During U.S. President Barack Obama’s August visit to the
country, Ethiopian Airlines CEO Tewolde Gebremariam urged him to
re-open the U.S. Exim Bank, which serves as the guarantor of
loans for purchases of Boeing aircraft.
VAST AIRPORT EXPANSION PROGRAM
During many exciting weeks in
Ethiopia this year, one of the first things we noticed was
the major renovation of Airport Terminals at key locations
such as Lalibela, Gondar and Bahar Dar, the first three
regional air gateways we visited. The biggest development of
all, however, is at Bole International Airport in
Two international and twelve
regional/ domestic airports are currently being administered
by the Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority, which has
undergone a comprehensive National Airports Development Plan
covering the period 1999-2017.
More on this topic in our
next printed edition.
Ethiopia's new Hotel
Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority