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Bole International Airport expansion takes shape

The Addis Ababa Bole International Airport passenger terminal expansion project is 40 percent completed.

The Ethiopian Airports Enterprise (EAE) launched the expansion project in January 2015. The project includes the expansion of Terminal 1 and 2 and the construction of a new VIP Terminal.  The expansion project aimed at building a new terminal with a floor area of 74,000sqm. The existing terminal has a floor area of 30,000sqm. The new terminal will have three floors—arrival, departure and ground floor. The expansion of Terminal 2 is being undertaken on the left and right side of the existing Terminal 2. On the right side Terminal 2 will be expanded and connected to Terminal 1 (old terminal) where regional and domestic flight passengers are hosted. The VIP saloon is also located in Terminal 1.

The new modern VIP Terminal will be built on the far right side of Terminal 2 or next to Terminal 1. A bridge and modern car parking is also part of the giant expansion project under way at a cost of 345 million dollars, a loan funneled by the Export Import Bank of China (EXIM Bank of China).

 

The new terminal is designed by a renowned Singapore architectural firm CGP while the Chinese construction firm, CCCC, is the contractor. ADPI, a French company, is the consultant of the project.

The existing main terminal, which was inaugurated in 2003, has a designed capacity of handling 6 million passengers per year. Due to the increasing passenger traffic the terminal is now handling 8.5 million passengers and the airport is congested in peak hours. When the expansion project is completed the airport can handle 22 million passengers, yearly.

Hailu Lemu, chief engineer of the project, told The Reporter that 40 percent of the expansion project is completed as of December 11. Hailu said 98 percent of the concrete work is completed and the steel structure work is being undertaken. “Forty percent of the steel structure work is completed. We will soon launch the curtain wall work and then start the electro mechanical work,” Hailu said.

Hailu said that various airport specialized equipment like baggage handling system, fire fighting system, boarding bridges and access control system are being manufactured and assembled in the UK and China. “After completing the curtain wall and roofing work we will start the electro mechanical work,” Hailu told The Reporter.

The terminal will have a large shopping area, café and restaurants, business class lounges, IT center and offices.

The expansion project is scheduled for completion for January 2018. Tsegaye Gebreab, deputy head of the expansion project office, told The Reporter that the passenger terminal expansion work is being undertaken in accordance with international airport construction standards. “The terminal can withstand earthquakes and fire accidents to a certain degree. The quality of all the construction materials is inspected. For instance, the building blocks are fire rated in China,” Tsegaye said.

Wondim Teklu, communication director with EAE, told The Reporter that when completed the terminal will be able to comfortably handle the growing passenger traffic for ten years. Wondim believes that the expansion project will make the Addis Ababa Bole International Airport one of the leading airports in Africa. The passenger traffic is growing at a rate of 22 percent on average. The domestic passenger traffic alone is growing by 22 percent, yearly. “This is directly related to the country’s fast economic growth. The expansion project would augment the growth of the national airline,” Wondim said.

Currently, EAE is undertaking five airport development projects in the regional towns. The enterprise would soon inaugurate Semera, Jinka, Shire, and Robe airport projects.  “The private airlines engaged in general aviation sector can also benefit from the ongoing airport development projects in the country,” Wondim said.

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