Luanda’s new airport in Angola aims to rival Johannesburg airport

24 October 2011

Lisbon, Portugal, 24 Oct – Luanda’s new international airport is designed to rival Johannesburg airport, in South Africa, and will serve as a traffic distribution hub for the region, according to the Africa Monitor newsletter.

The new airport, which is under construction some 40 kilometres outside the Angolan capital, in Bom Jesus, in the Viana municipal area, will have runways capable of receiving what is currently the largest passenger aircraft in the world, the Airbus A380.

“The size of the project, which is obvious from the length and layout of the runways, was decided in order to turn the airport into a hub that is capable of taking traffic away from Johannesburg airport destined for countries in Central and East Africa that use it for that purpose,” Africa Monitor said.

“The key idea,” it added, is that a big airport in Angola, “with a size capable of making it the second-largest facility of its kind in sub-Saharan Africa,” will be heavily used as a transit point for passengers travelling on to countries such as the democratic Republic of Congo, the Republic of Congo, Namibia, Zambia, Uganda, Kenya and even Tanzania.

Construction of the new airport is in the hands of a consortium of Chinese companies and Brazilian company Odebrecht and, according to Africa Monitor, one of the issues casting a shadow over the project is training human resources to manage the facility, which is considered insufficient according to some specialists.

During a speech to mark the start of the Legislative Year of the National Assembly, last Friday, The Angolan President, José Eduardo dos Santos said that the first phase of the new airport may be concluded in 2012, and the facility would have capacity to handle 15 million passengers per year.

The new airport, which has been under construction since 2008, covers an area of almost 10,000 hectares and will have two double runways capable of landing the Airbus A380, 12 departure tunnels as well as restaurants, offices, a hotel nearby and a rail link to the capital city and, possibly, with the neighbouring province of Malanje.

O processo de modernização das infra-estruturas aeroportuárias angolanas já envolveu também as de Cabinda, Catumbela, Benguela, Malange, Ondjiva, Lubango e Huambo.<}100{>The process of modernising Angola’s airport facilities also involves the airports in Cabinda, Catumbela, Benguela, Malange, Ondjiva, Lubango and Huambo.

According to information from Angolan news agency Angop, Carianga airport in Ndalatando, is ready to be inaugurated and contracts are due to be approved by the end of this month for refurbishment of the airports of do Soyo, Dondo, Saurimo and Luena.

The director for Infrastructure of the Angolan Transport Ministry recently said that, by 2012, Angola would have three international airports in operation, with the conclusion of work in Catumbela and Bengo. (macauhub)

MACAUHUB FRENCH