Bole International Airport logo.

Bole International Airport logo.

Ethiopia is set to embark on Phase III of the Bole International Airport expansion project in an effort to transform the facility into a regional connecting hub.

The Horn of Africa nation has secured $250-million from China Import Export Bank to fund the project.

Ethiopia Airports Enterprise (EAE) says China Communications Construction Company will be the contractor for the expansion project, the design of which was carried out by aSingapore company.

“We want work on the project to start in June and we expect it to be completed within three years,” says EAE CEO Tewodros Dawit.

The project involves the construction of a new passenger terminal as an extension to the existing Terminal 1 (domestic and regional) and Terminal 2 (international) and theconstruction of a new VIP passenger terminal.

The new terminal will house boarding areas, lounges, recreation centres, shopping malls, offices and other facilities. New boarding gates, boarding bridges, and a new parking area are parts of the project. The new parking area will serve passengers and staff members. The VIP terminal which will have salons, lounges, conference rooms, recreation centres, duty-free shops, an information tech-nology centre and an exclusive parking lot.

The project marks the third and final phase of a $550-million expansion of the airport. Phase I involved expansion of the apron, which created parking space for ten more large aircraft, while Phase II, which is nearing completion, will allow 15 more additional large aircraft to park. When completed, it will increase the parking capacity of Bole International Airport to a total of 44 large airplanes.

“Addis Ababa is a gateway to Africa. We are close to Europe, the Middle East and the Far East. So, we want to link Africa to these regions,” says Tewodros.
He adds that the national carrier, Ethiopian Airlines, is the leading airline in Africa and is playing a big role in connectingAfrica with the rest of the world – hence, the need for an airport that can accommodate the growing demand. Ethiopian Airlines was the first African airline to fly the modern Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft.

Expansion of the airport is critical to meeting the increasing traffic, both in terms of airlines and passengers numbers. Over the past decade, passenger traffic has been rising by an average of 25% a year to 6.5-million at present, compared with a capacity of five-million. When the expansion programme is completed, the airport will be able to handle 25-million passengers a year.