news updates between our biweekly newsletter editions
Work on $599m Djibouti international airport to start this year
February 13, 2015
Construction on the $599 million new international airport in Ali-Sabieh, Djibouti would start this year and expected to be completed in 2018, Pesident Ismail Omar Guelleh announced on 9 February.
The new El-Hajj Hassan Gouled Airport, which is to be located in Ali-Sabieh, 25 km (15 miles) south of the capital will serve 1.5 million passengers annually, and construction will entail setting up of runways that will cater for modern commercial jets. The facility will have capacity to process 100,000 tonnes of cargo per year.
The Chinese-funded airport construction project is anticipated to enhance the growth of the economy in the country and create more that 500 jobs to the citizens.
It is expected to be completed in 2018. Construction of a smaller 350,000-passenger airport near Seven Brothers islands is also covered in the budget. The investment is to be provided by China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC).
Apart from Djibouti, other countries are planning for or undertaking airport construction or expansion projects, including the upcoming Ethiopia’s Hawassa, Robe Goba and Shire airports. This is in line with increasing cargo transport and passenger travels in the region.
New FAA approval sets Hilton Head Airport runway extension in motion
February 13, 2015
An environmental study on extending the Hilton Head Island Airport's runway to 5,000 feet won federal approval this week.
The Federal Aviation Administration approval clears the way for Beaufort County, which owns the airport, to start an 18- to 20-month design, bid and permitting process for the project, according to county documents. The study said the extension would have little environmental impact.
Construction is scheduled to begin in late 2016 and will take 18 months.
"The determination by the FAA that our project is consistent with national environmental policy marks an important milestone in our mission to provide an efficient, modern facility," county airports director Jon Rembold said in a prepared statement. "We are excited to continue this great momentum and look forward to move the runway extension project forward."
Extending the runway to 5,000 feet, from its current 4,300 feet, is expected to cost about $9.25 million, according to county documents. Federal and state grants will pay about 95 percent, with the airport expected to contribute about $510,000.
The study completed last year found the project would have no impact on air quality, migratory birds and wildlife, or noise. However, some airport neighbors continue to express concerns about the project, and more than 125 residents packed a presentation about the study's findings last April.
Many of those concerns are about extending the runway farther, to 5,400 feet, which is part of consultants' recommended master plan for the airport.
The current study, however, focused only on extending the runway to 5,000 feet. A county and Town of Hilton Head Island joint resolution authorizes only the 5,000-foot length, Rembold and county administrator Gary Kubic said. To extend the runway farther would require a new resolution to be voted on by both councils, according to Kubic.
As for other improvements at the airport, construction projects are expected to begin on taxiways at each end of the runway
Kuwaiti firm to build new airport in Iraq
February 13, 2015
Kuwaiti trading and contracting firm Al Nasriyah has been awarded a 45-year contract by the Iraqi National Investment Commission (NIC) to develop and operate a new airport to serve Iraq’s Diwaniya governorate.
The $1.35 billion airport will be built in three phases, with the latter phases including development of commercial, recreational, and recreational complexes around the airport known as Aerotroplis.
The $420 million first phase involves construction of the airport and a free trade zone on the 17.5 million sq m site. Targeted primarily at cargo operations, the airport will include a 3,600 meter runway, 45 meters wide, which will be able to handle all aircraft types. Construction is expected to begin this spring, with the first phase due for completion in 26 months. The whole project is targeted for completion in five years.
NIC chairman Sami al-Araji said the signing of the contract was clear evidence of the private sector contributing to the reconstruction of Iraq and pointed out that Al Nasriya would contribute 10% of profits from the project to the provincial government. The project is expected to create more than 8,000 jobs for the people of the province.
Greece set to halt $1.2bn Abu Dhabi-backed Athens airport project
February 13, 2015
A $1.2 billion deal backed by an Abu Dhabi investment firm to redevelop a prime seaside property looks likely to be scrapped after the new leftist Athens government announced it was looking to block agreements to privatise key Greek national assets agreed by the previous government.
Last November, Greek auditors unblocked the sale of a prime seaside property at the abandoned Athens airport of Hellenikon, which is being spearheaded by Greek firm Lamda Development and is backed by Chinese company Fosun and Abu Dhabi’s Al Maabar.
The auditors in September had blocked the sale of the property from privatisation agency Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (HRADF) set up by the previous Greek government.
Raising funds through privatisations was a major part of Greece's bailout agreement with the European Union and the International Monetary Fund. Athens had signed privatisation deals worth €5 billion ($6.2 billion) since 2011 and aimed to reach cumulative proceeds of €9.6 billion by the end of 2016.
However, on Wednesday, the newly elected government, which swept to power on an anti-austerity and anti-bailout agenda, said in an announcement it was sticking to plans to halt the sale of its two biggest ports, Piraeus and Thessaloniki.