Ethiopia set to expand airports 

Ethiopia is set to expand its airport reach with construction of three airport runways in three major regional cites, with a capacity to host big jets like B737. 

The Ethiopian Airports Enterprise (EAE) the state company tasked with expanding and supervising Ethiopia’s increasing airports signed a $68.5 million (1.37 billion Ethiopian Birr) with three local firms who won tenders for the construction of three airport runways, on December 11, 2014.

The Runways which will each have 2,500 meters length and 60 meters width, are part of the government’s drive to boost trade and tourism ties across the country for it’s next ambitious economic goal named Growth and Transformation Plan II (GTP) set to start in end of 2015.

The most anticipated contract was the one for the southern city Hawassa, Ethiopia’s premier resort and tourism Hotspot as well as an industrial hub with a total cost $ 22.9 million. The contracting company is named Yotek Construction private Limited Company (PLC) with the supervisory form being Saba Engineering (Plc).

The second contract pertains to runway construction for another southern city Robe Goba, won by Akir Construction PlC for $ 24.7 million and to be supervised by Transport Construction Design Plc.

Robe is better known for its proximity to the UNESCO listed natural wonder the Sof Omer Cave system, and for being an agricultural belt of Ethiopia.

With The third project being in the Far North of the country near the city of Shire, to be constructed by Ethiopian Roads Construction Corporation (ERCC) and supervised by Transport Construction Design Plc at a cost $ 20.9 million.

The Third project hopes to utilize the mineral resources of the area especially gold which in that part of the country is heavily dominated by Artisanal mining.

Tewodros Dawit Head of EAE stated at the signing ceremony the projects will have a duration period of two years and to be followed later on with the construction of their respective airport terminals.

“In preparation for GTP II we plan to also start construction of runway and terminal for the capital of Afar region Semera known as being a get way to landlocked Ethiopia’s major sea outlet the Djibouti port” he stated adding that this north eastern part of Ethiopia is also known for it’s huge deposits of Potash and other minerals, as well as touristic volcanic areas.

EAE administers dozens of airports and airstrips around the country, including four international Grade, the Addis Ababa Bole, Bahir Dar, Mekelle International Airport and Dire Dawa International Airports.