July 9, 2012
The air traffic growth at the Addis Ababa Bole International Airport has prompted the Ethiopian Airport Enterprise to plan to build a new international airport between Modjo and Meki towns on the Hawassa road.
The director general of the Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority, Col. Wossenyeleh Hunegnaw on Thursday said that the Ethiopian Airport Enterprise was conducting a study on the establishment of a new international airport. When the major expansion project of the Addis Ababa Bole International Airport was drafted in the early 1990s, it was assumed that the airport will accommodate air traffic until 2017. However, the airport has reached its maximum capacity in 2010. Hence, the construction of a new international airport seems inevitable.
A senior official of the Ethiopian Airport Enterprise told The Reporter that previously the enterprise was conducting a study on a location near Dukem town, some 30 km east of Addis Ababa. However, this was revoked and the enterprise is now contemplating to build the new international airport between Modjo and Meki towns on Hawassa road.
The official said the Addis Ababa Bole International Airport will be used for regional flights, VIP flights and for those who are involved in general aviation services (private airlines who provide none schedule flights). The new airport would accommodate long haul international flights.
The Addis Ababa Bole International Airport currently accommodates more than 150 flights per day. Ethiopian Airlines is buying new aircraft. Currently, Ethiopian has more than 60 departures per day. The national flag carrier increased the number of jetliners from 10 to 40 in the past 15 years. It plans to further increase this number to 115 by 2025. Foreign carriers that are operating to Addis Ababa have reached 13. “All these facts prompted the need to build a new international airport,” the official said. At present a team of experts are undertaking the feasibility study on the new airport.
The Enterprise has informed the Ethiopian Roads Authority to consider the plan to build the new international airport in developing new road network. The enterprise wants ERA to build a new road that stretches from Addis Ababa to the new airport and the road to Hawassa via Zequala Bishoftu. “We have presented the plan to ERA. They may submit it to the government next year,” the official said. The public relations head with ERA, Samson Wondimu, told The Reporter that he was not aware of the new plan.