Building for the Future

With the recent rapid growth of flag carrier Ethiopian Airlines, its home hub of Addis Ababa’s Bole International Airport has witnessed a tripling in the number of passengers using the facility. Matteo Legnani finds out what’s being done to help it cope.

Some of Ethiopian’s long-haul airliners sit at their gates at Addis Ababa Bole International Airport awaiting their next passengers.

Opened in 1962 as Haile Selassie I International Airport – named after the Emperor of Ethiopia – it took the place of Lideta Airport when home carrier Ethiopian Airlines entered the jet age by introducing Boeing 720s on its routes to Europe. The facility’s original layout featured a single terminal and one runway (07L/25R) and remained untouched until 1999, when the first expansion work took place. A new terminal was built on the eastern side of the existing one, though not connected to it, and a second 12,467ft (3,800m) parallel runway (07R/25L) was constructed, but its close proximity to the original airstrip precluded simultaneous operations. A new 112ft (34m) high control tower and additional car parking were also added.

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