Expansion work starts on Ethiopia’s airport

China Communications Construction Company (CCCC) has started work on the $250m Addis Ababa Bole International Airport expansion project in Ethiopia, while an unnamed French consultancy is said to have won a bid to supervise the work, and to plan a new "mega hub" airport.

The plan is to expand the two existing terminals and build a new VIP terminal, all with a loan from the Export-Import (EXIM) Bank of China.

CCCC, which has built a number of highways in Ethiopia, is the contractor, while the design of the new passenger terminal was drafted by a Singapore’s CPG Airports.

A senior official of the Ethiopian Airports Enterprise told Ethiopian newspaper, The Reporter, that CCCC began fencing the construction site last week, and has begun groundworks.

The enterprise also wants a consulting firm to supervise construction.

According to The Reporter, "reliable sources" in the enterprise said that a French company has won the technical evaluation. Another French firm ranked second and an Italian company was ranked third. The sources said the winner will be revealed this week. 

The winner will also carry out a study on a new "mega hub" airport planned for a location outside Addis Ababa.  

The Bole International Airport expansion project includes the construction of a VIP passengers’ terminal. Ethiopia’s first, the VIP terminal will be dedicated to visiting senior government officials and other dignitaries.

The two existing terminals now accommodate 6.5 million passengers per year. The expansion project will raise that to 25 million.

The Ethiopian Airports Enterprise owns and operates 18 airports, 15 of which are asphalted. To cope with the fast growth of Ethiopian Airlines, the enterprise is building new airports in different parts of the country. 

The enterprise will soon inaugurate the Jimma and Assosa airports it has recently built. It will also soon embark on the construction of a new airport in Hawassa town. The enterprise is also contemplating a "mega hub" international airport outside Addis Ababa.

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