By Anddualem Sisay | Africa Review
The Ethiopian Airports Enterprise (EAE)) has finalised a study to build one of the biggest airports in Africa, an official said.
EAE head of Communications Affairs Wondim Teklu said the airport aims to handle 120 million passengers annually.
“The French consulting company, ADPI, has done a study on the potential locations for alternative airport construction. The company has selected seven spots and suggested three of them as the potential locations for the new airport,” said Mr Wondim.
He said the decision was informed by the ever increasing traffic at the Bole International Airport, which was undergoing expansion.
Will be Crowded
“With this traffic growth, even if we expand the capacity of the Bole International Airport, it will be crowded again after 10 years,” he said.
He stated that the financing and other preparations would be concluded this year to enable the commencement of the construction of the new airport, which will have a capacity equivalent to Dubai and Heathrow and serve for 50 years without expansion.
EAE was currently expanding the Bole International Airport at the cost of $345 million. The project, by the China Communications Construction Company, with a loan from the Export Import Bank of China, was 30 per cent complete.
Currently, 70 per cent of the passengers at the Bole airport were of the transit category.
“We expect to complete the expansion of the Bole International Airport in the coming 18 months. When completed, the the airport’s current 8.5 million passengers capacity per year, will be increased to 22 million,” Mr Wondim said.
EAE has allocated $300 million (6 billion birr) for its activities in the coming 12 months, which include infrastructure improvement and the construction of new airports, according to Mr Wondim.
He said that around $73 million (1.6 billion birr) was expected to be generated over the same period.
Ethiopia currently has a total of 20 airports. The government plans to increase the number to 30 in the coming five years, with 25 of them to international standard, according to Mr Wondim.
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