Turkish construction company Summa is to begin work on Sudan’s largest airport early next year, according to its chairman, Selim Bora. Khartoum New International Airport will be built about 40km south of the capital, and will replace the existing one.
Speaking to Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency, Mr Bora said Summa would lay the foundations for Khartoum International Airport in the first quarter of 2019, and then complete it within 36 months.
The company signed the deal in March of this year, but no start date had previously been announced.
The first phase of the work, which is valued at $800m, will include building an 86,000 sq m terminal with an annual capacity of 6 million passengers. Bora said there would be two subsequent phases that would expand this to 9 million and then 12 million. Â
There will be two runways, each 4km long and capable of handling the Airbus A380 double-decker airliner.
The overall cost of the project, which will be procured under a build-operate-transfer model will be just under $1.2bn.
The economy of Sudan has been growing strongly over the past 20 years, and per capita GDP among its 40 million people has increased from $360 in 2000 to almost $2,900 in 2017. This has made the average Sudanese wealthier than the average Egyptian, and enabled the country to consider competing with Cairo for the role of aviation hub for northeastern Africa.
Bora said airports in Cairo and Addis Ababa were the most important and effective ones on the continent, but that Khartoum could challenge them for passengers as it "enjoys geographical advantages".
Summa is based in Istanbul and has 2,500 employees. It entered sub-Saharan Africa in 2011 and has since established a presence in Senegal, Rwanda, Congo, Niger, Sudan, and Benin. It also works in the US, Russia, Venezuela and Romania.
As well as construction it operates in property, hotel operation, healthcare, mining and electricity generation.
Image: Khartoum’s present airport, which has only one runway (Antikrot/Wikimapia)