President Paul Kagame is pushing for speedy delivery of the new Bugesera International Airport whose construction works started on August 9.
The first phase of the airport is expected to start in 2019 and is expected to have an initial capacity of 1.7 million passengers a year.
This should help ease traffic flow at Kigali international at Kanombe which has seen annual passenger traffic increase to 700,000, people stretching the airport’s capacity.
Construction work of Bugesera International Airport is projected to cost $828 million. Mota-Engil Africa is building the airport in partnership with Aviation Travel and Logistics (ATL) a Rwandan firm that is contributing 25 per cent of the funding while Mota-Engil is responsible for the remaining 75 per cent.
ATL, which was set up in 2015, will also manage the ground handling services at the airport.
President Kagame who presided over the ground breaking ceremony, restated the importance of the project and assured contractors of government support for speedy delivery.
“We are as determined as you are to see this airport completed and operational. Bugesera Airport is an important part of Rwanda’s strategy for socio-economic transformation; we see this facility as an essential component in boosting intra-African travel, investment and business,” said President Kagame.
The airport is expected to support national carrier Rwandair’s future expansion.
Under the “build and operate” model, Mota-Engil is expected to run the business for 25 years before handing ownership back to the state.
“The concession agreement is done together with the environmental impact assessment. All the funding that has to be approved by government has also been signed. We are on track and we will deliver the project on time,” said Manuel Mota Mota-Engil chief executive.
On completion of Bugesera, Kigali International Airport will be reserved for the Rwanda Airforce, and VVIP operations.
Bugesera Airport will have 22 check-counters, 10 gates; six passengers boarding bridges, 10 immigration counters on arrival and 10 immigration counters on departure and a single 3,750 metre-long run way.