NEW AIRPORT NEEDED TO FACILITATE FUTURE GROWTH SAYS ETHIOPIAN AIRLINES CEO
(Posted 15th January 2020)
(New terminal at Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa)
Given the completion of the new ultra large terminal at Bole International Airport last year has the confirmation by Tewolde GebreMariam, that the country will embark on the construction of an entirely new mega airport later this year, taken the aviation fraternity by surprise.
While countries like Kenya have not yet even commenced the construction of a long overdue second runway and seemingly scrapped the expansion plans under the name ‘Project Greenfield‘ are other countries in the wider Eastern African region busy with the expansion of their own existing airports or have construction ongoing for new airports like Busegera in Rwanda.
GebreMariam is quoted to have said: ‘Bole Airport is not going to accommodate us; we have a beautiful expansion project. The airport looks very beautiful and very large but with the way that we are growing, in about three or four years we are going to be full‘.
The Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation also suggested earlier in the week that construction will commence later this year, though no details were available about tenders, cost and financing at this stage.
A two or – as has been suggested in the past up to four – runway mega airport, capable of handling up to 100 million passengers in the medium to long term, is expected to cost in excess of 5 billion US Dollars at current cost.
There were also no details provided what the future of the present Bole International Airport would look like, given the massive investments Ethiopia has made in new terminal buildings, a new cargo centre – the largest in Africa now – maintenance facilities and equally important nearby hotel developments.
The new Ethiopian Skylight Hotel, presently standing with over 360 rooms and major meeting facilities supporting Ethiopia’s quest to become Africa’s leading MICE destination again, is due to be expanded to almost 1.000 rooms according to regular sources in Addis Ababa and a new airport in Bishoftu, some 50 kilometres away from the capital Addis Ababa, may prove to be a game changer for hotel developments too.