Ethiopia has announced plans to construct a mega international airport in the vicinity of Addis Ababa on the heels of the successful completion of the $475 million, Chinese-built and funded Light Rail project.
The proposed project will surpass the widely hailed modern light-rail system and it will be second only to the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam project which, at completion, “will be the largest dam in Africa,” at 1,800 metres long, 170 metres high and with a total volume of 10 million m³.
According to the Minister of Transport, Workneh Gebeyehu, the mega airport “will make Addis Ababa the aviation hub of Africa. The new airport will be the second mega project in the country (next to the Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam),” thereporterethiopia reported.
Construction is expected to begin within two years but details of the cost of the mega project are yet to be released.
“The new mega hub will move the aviation industry in Ethiopia to a higher level,” and upon completion the new mega airport will have the capacity to handle 120 million passengers a year.
The country takes its aviation industry seriously. Despite turbulent times faced by many African airlines, Ethiopian Airlines has made remarkable progress with record-high profits and expanding into new markets. In the 2014/2015 fiscal year, the airline posted a profit of 3.5 billion birr [$175 million] and an operating profit of 4.7 billion birr [$224 million] and transported 6.4 million passengers and 329,000 tons of cargo, thereporterethiopia said.
The country’s flag-bearer has consistently upheld high standards, winning numerous awards in recognition of its consistently reliable service, innovation and a dedicated workforce. The airline recently won the Best International Airline of the year in Ghana at the Business Executive Excellence Awards and the Passenger Choice Award in the US.
According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Ethiopia is ranked among the five fastest growing economies in the world. The country named amongst the ‘African tigers’ could reach middle income status by 2025 through its various modernisation projects.