Expansion begins at Bole airport

Addis Ababa airport project backed by China

A $250 million project to expand Addis Ababa Bole International Airport has begun with plans to turn the airport into a mega hub for the region.

Ethiopia has contracted the China Communications Construction Company (CCCC) to undertake the work, helped with a loan from the Export-Import (EXIM) Bank of China. The project will see the expansion of the two existing terminals, allowing Bole to serve around 25 million commuters each year, a significant increase from its current annual capacity of 6.5 million passengers.

It will also include a VIP passengers’ terminal, the first of its kind in Ethiopia. The design work has been undertaken by Singapore’s CPG Airports while local media quoted "reliable sources" that a French company has won the contract to oversee the construction work.

The Ethiopian Airports Enterprise (EAE) owns and operates 18 airports, and has ambitious plans for new facilities around the country, including the upgrading of Jimma airport in south-west Ethiopia and Assosa in the north-west of the country, near the border with Sudan.

The EAE is also about to begin construction on a new airport at Hawassa, a university town in central Ethiopia, and plans to build an additional international airport outside Addis Ababa to help Bole cope with its ever increasing traffic.