Senegal's international airport to open in December 2017
Initially planned to open in December 2015, the launch of Senegal's Blaise Diagne International Airport (AIBD) is now scheduled for Q4 2017.
One of the West African country’s most ambitious projects, Senegal’s AIBD is designed to become a major hub for the region.
"The airport is vital for the economic development of Senegal and that is why we are doing everything possible to finish it," sayid Abdoulaye Mbodji, the project’s director general.
The Senegalese capital, Dakar, comprises 3% of the territory, 25% of the population and 80% of the economic activity of the country and the new airport is designed to allow both enhanced management of the territory and the creation of a new economic focus. It will also be a pillar for the development of tourism and exports, especially fresh produce.
Construction began in 2007 and by 2013 the project was 54% complete. By December 2014, more than 80% of the work was finished.
However, construction stopped early in 2016 due to a financial dispute between the Senegalese State and prime contractor.
The latest financial scheme features a development pool of eight banks led by the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the Islamic Development Bank (IDB). This solution also features the appointment of a Turkish consortium featuring specialists in the construction industry, Summa and Limak, and the Senegalese authority said it is now confident that the airport will be operational by the end of 2017.
According to the project’s director general, remaining work includes the construction of the new freight warehouse; implementation of procedures; and the electrical wiring of the new terminal.
The AIBD covers an area of 4.500 hectares of which around half has been utilised so far. It features a main terminal of 4,200m² on two levels that will have a capacity of around three million passengers per year, increasing to 10 million by 2035.
A second terminal, specifically for freight operations, will have an annual capacity of 50,000 tonnes. A third terminal will be used for the transport of Hajj pilgrims.
The airport will have a main 3,500mx75m runway designed to accommodate long-haul aircraft such as the A380 and B787. The airport's infrastructure be capable of dealing, simultaneously, with 50 airliners including 26 wide-bodies, six single-aisle and 18 GA.
Certification is already well underway and it’s anticipated that it will be completed by the end of 2017, enabling all flights to be transferred from the existing Leopold-Sédar-Senghor facility.