Over the next 30 days, the Ethiopian Airports Enterprise (EAE) will be looking for potential bidders to build the Hawassa Airport, with the design now complete.
The bid document, which will be available from tomorrow, is based on an airfield design by the state owned consulting firm Transport Construction Design Enterprise (TCDE) and a terminal design by private consulting firm, Bereket Tesfaye Consulting Architects and Engineering, according to Wondeme Teklu, the enterprise's communications head.
The airport in the tourist city - 275kms south of Addis Abeba and the capital of the southern regional state - will be the 19th airport to Ethiopia. The TCDE's design for the airfield was completed last week, while the Enterprise is already considering three designs for the terminal.
The TCDE has been involved in the design and supervision of road, bridge and airport construction since it was established in August 1987. For 30 years prior to that, it had been a department under the Ethiopia Roads Authority (ERA), playing a similar consultancy role.
Bereket Tesfaye's three designs for the terminal building include a VIP lounge, restaurant, roof terrace, kitchen, security check points and baggage handling, all within a five-storey building.
"The construction of both the airfield and the terminal will start before the end of this [calendar] year," said Wondeme.
Hawassa, home to the BGI Brewery, Millennium Pepsi Cola Plant, Hawassa Textile Factory S.C and numerous hotels, is also projected to have an industry zone, along with Kombolcha, in Amhara, and Dire Dawa.
The Enterprise recently awarded a 571.7 million Br construction contract to Afro-Tsion Construction Plc for Jinka Airport. Construction has been underway for a month now on a three million square metre plot of land. The airfield alone measures 2.5kms in length and 60m in width - enough to accommodate the Boeing 737 aircraft.
The EAE was formally established as a public enterprise in January 2003, by the Council of Ministers (CoM), with a capital of two billion Br. Previously known as the Civil Aviation Authority, its responsibilities included economic and technical regulations, airport services and aviation security. Now the EAE handles airport services, while the National Security & Intelligence Affairs is responsible for airport security.
The Enterprise administers 18 airports across the country; four of these - Semera, Shibalo, Pawe and Robe Goba - are graveled, whilst four others - Addis Abeba Bole, Dire Dawa, Bahir Dar and Mekelle Alula Aba Nega - are international airports. According to the Growth & Transformation Plan (GTP), the Enterprise plans to have a total of 21 airports before the end of 2014/15 fiscal year.
The Kombolcha airport, which has been under construction since 2010, is expected to become operational by September 2014, according to Wondeme.
On the expansion side, the China Communications Construction Company Limited (CCCC) started the expansion project of the Addis Ababa Bole International Airport passenger terminal, which will incorporate a new passenger terminal as an extension to existing terminals, as well as the construction of a new VIP terminal. The total cost for this project will be 4.5 billion Br. The financing was obtained from the Export-Import (EXIM) Bank of China as a loan through the construction company.