Capital Ethiopia Newspaper

Jijiga int’l airport terminal on the way

More than a year behind its original inauguration schedule, Jijiga International Airport is set to have its much anticipated passenger terminal operational by the end of this month. 
Jijiga International Airport that took over three years of construction is located 628 km east of Addis Ababa and is the first international airport of the Somali regional state.
The terminal inauguration, planned for tomorrow May 28 coincides with the 21st anniversary of the downfall of the Derg military junta. However, the relatively slow pace of the procurement and installation of the machines has raised some speculation around that date.   
The airport terminal construction was built in two phases at a cost of 101 million birr. The first phase for 51 million birr on civil construction side was undertaken by a local construction company, Asmelash and sons Construction Company and supervised by National Consultancy Company.
The second part of the terminal construction that is currently being undertaken is the procuring and installation of electrometrical parts, which is estimated to cost 50 million birr respectively.
The Jijiga International Airport runway, taxiway and apron construction was finished three years ago.
According to Wondim Teklu, Public Relations Head at the Ethiopian Airports Enterprise (EAE) the new airport terminal will increase passenger holding capacity from the previous 20 to 176 while having places for offices, restaurants, duty free shops, banking service, traditional clothes shops and other services. Once the terminal is completed companies can bid for stations for their shops or service centers inside the Airport Terminal.
Previously passengers had to go uncomfortably through a corrugated iron thatched passengers’ terminal in the searing heat before they boarded flights.  
Wondim further said the new terminal will be able to accommodate even more travelers from eastern Ethiopia, neighboring countries as well as other foreigners who come for business, research and tourism purposes.
The Ethiopian Airports Enterprise currently operates 17 international airports across Ethiopia and plans by the end of the Growth and Transformation Plan to increase its international airports number to 21, including the Kombolcha international airport it had planned for the current fiscal year.
The Enterprise plans to collect 858 million birr from services it gives from Aeronautical and non-Aeronautical services in the 2011/12 fiscal year. From Aeronautical services such as charges on planes that have landed at its airports and from non-Aeronautical services such as charges from duty free shops that have set their businesses in the premises of its airports, from parking space charges and hotels that have also set up services inside the premises of the airports.