Ethiopia will complete the expansion of Bole International Airport by 2018, which will help it to triple the number of passengers from the current seven million.

With the expansion, the airport will be able to handle approximately ten times its current capacity.

The expansion work was initiated at the airport in September last year. The work is being carried out by the China Communication Construction Company at a cost of roughly $300m.

Located on the edge of Addis Ababa, the airport is houses the Ethiopian Airlines, which is Africa’s state-owned national carrier.

According to Reuters, the airport was capable of handling around one million passengers until a few years ago. However, the number has gone up to seven million in 2014, which is expected to increase further by 18% in the coming years.

Ethiopian Airports Enterprise project manager for Bole Hailu Gebremariam was quoted by Reuters as saying: “We did not expect this growth to happen in eight years. That is why we are undertaking an expansion of the airport that will serve us for the next 15 years, with a capacity about 20 million passengers a year.”

The country is also currently exploring sites for a new international airport that will have a capacity to serve up to 70 million passengers every year.

Reuters further quoted Hailu as saying: “We have whittled down potential sites from eight to three, all of which are within 60km to 70km (37 to 44 miles) from Addis Ababa. Once approved, the construction is only a question of four or five years.”

Script source: Airport Technology

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