Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn Gives the Green Light to Build a Huge International Airport in Mojo, 65km from Addis Ababa

By Kaleyesus Bekele
Nov. 03, 2012

PM gives nod to new airport project; Enterprise to expand Bole passengers terminal

Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn has given the green light to the Ethiopian Airports Admiration to proceed with the new giant international airport planned to be built around Modjo town.

A senior official at the Ethiopian Airport Enterprise told The Reporter that the officials of the enterprise and the Ministry of Transport briefed Hailemariam about the planned grand airport project. “The prime minister gave us the green light,” the official said.

The Ministry of Transport will present the project proposal to the Council of Ministers for endorsement. After the project is endorsed by the Council of Ministers, it will be forwarded to the House of Peoples’ Representatives. The enterprise plans to secure a loan for the project from the China EXIM Bank. “Once it is endorsed by Parliament, it will be on the list of projects that seek funding from the China EXIM Bank,” the official said.

The enterprise was conducting a study on the establishment of a new international airport for the past couple of years. 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 reached its maximum capacity in 2010. Hence, the construction of a new international airport seems inevitable.

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 However, this was revoked and the enterprise is now contemplating to build the new international airport between Modjo and Meki towns on Hawassa road. An independent aviation expert told The Reporter that the new location is chosen because of its low latitude. “As the altitude decreases, aircraft’s fuel consumption decreases, especially during take off. At lower altitudes aircraft take off load increases,” the expert said. “Modjo is an ideal location.”

Addis Ababa is known for its high altitude. Aircraft engines operate under stress and consume more fuel specially during take-off. That is the reason why aircraft manufacturers such as Boeing and Airbus choose Addis Ababa Bole International Airport for conducting taste flights.

An official of the enterprise said once the construction of the new airport is completed, 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.

In a related development, the enterprise is to expand the existing passenger terminal at the Addis Ababa Bole International Airport.The design work is being undertaken. The extention building will connect with terminal one (the old terminal).The enterprise has undertaken two expansion projects at the airport. In the first expansion project, it built an apron which accommodates 24 aircraft. Currently it is undertaking the second expansion project-the construction of apron which accommodates 14 aircraft.

===

We thank HE PM Hailemariam Desalegn for keeping the spirit of our chief acrchitect, the late PM Meles Zenawi. Currently, there is only one road from Mojo to Addis. We recommend that before the airport is constructed an alternate highway that takes directly to Addis must be completed. This way, travellers will not be inconvenienced. The town of Mojo is at the intersection of Highway #4 and #6. Proposed area is off Highway #6 as shown below:


View Larger Map

Source: The Reporter Ethiopia