Wednesday, July 17, 2013

■■ SUDAN: See Renderings for New Khartoum International Airport to be built and financed by China.

Sudanese Coat of Arms

[UPDATE 17 JULY 2013] The Arab press is reporting that the Sudanese Government has signed a USD$750million loan, with an as-yet-unspecified foreign bank, to fund the initial construction phase of the capital, Khartoum's, New International Airport. The loan will be repaid over a period of 25 years, beginning after the completion of the project. Other loans secured thus far include a USD$47million loan from the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development signed in July 2010, and another for USD$120million from the Jeddah-based Islamic Development Bank (IDB) signed in May 2010.

Overall the entire development in itself is estimated to cost about USD$1.8billion.
"According to sources, the Minister of Finance Ali Mahmoud and the Director General of the Civil Aviation Authority, Engineer Mohammed Abdul Aziz, signed a huge foreign loan of U.S.$750million for the construction of the new Khartoum Airport, without modification of the previous design.

Sources said President Omar al Bashir approved the finance minister's signing of the loan whose repayment is to be made over 25 years from the completion of construction, and which will begin immediately next month.
The airport's construction was stopped owing to the Ministry of Finance's concerns over the huge amount required; that of one billion, three hundred million dollars. "
Read More Here [Al Nilin - translated from Arabic]


Situated 40 kilometres south of the centre of Khartoum in Omdurman, German engineering consultancy firm Dorsch Consult Airports GmbH has been hired to oversee the project which will include:
  • Intended capacity: 7.5 million annual passengers (to reach 10 million in future)
  • 2 runways, 1 cross-taxiway, 2 parallel taxiways and sufficient aprons
  • ATC-tower, CNS-ATC and ATM equipment, ARFF, service-courts, fuel-farm
  • Terminals for: Passengers, Hajj, Presidential, General Aviation including curbside and parking facilities
  • Cargo centre (regional hub), logistic and industrial estate, Aircraft maintenance hangar
  • Various Facilities: Administration buildings, housing areas and catering, Airport park and airport mosque, Hotel and conference centre, health facilities as required by ICAO.
  • Utilities: power and water supply including disposal systems, Airport roads and airport access road 


Main contractor: China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC).

  • Airport location: South Omdurman
  • Airport outer area.79 sq-km
  • Inner area 22 sq-km
  • 22 km from Khartoum city centre
  • Airport southern borders located 2 kilometers North of White Nile State borders
  • 2 Runways configuration of 4000 meters length, with 75 meters width each (shoulders 15 meters). Distance between the two runways about 2 km.
  • 10 boarding bridge roads lead passengers to Aircraft.
  • Handling 780'000 flights per annum
  • Air Traffic control Tower, 56.1 meters height.
  • Modern Airport systems, Baggage Handling System, aviation security system, Air traffic system.
  • Capacity: 7.5 million passengers annually and is expected to grow by almost 10 million in the future.
  • Advanced Conference centre.
Airport Business Centre
  • Area: 13'000 sqm. 
  • Total 15 rooms; Average room area 50 - 100 sqm
  • Commercial core covers an area of 8000 sqm
  • Catering - Flight (Kitchen) provides 9300 meals daily of 450 occupy workers
Terminals were designed according the culture and nature of Sudan.

Airport Administration Building
  • Area: 22.641 sqm
  • Occupancy: 1200 staff
Commercial Centre
  • Area: 15000 sqm
  • Occupy 1500 employees
Airport Hotel
  • Area: 26'435 sqm; 300 room double bedrooms
Visitor Centre
  • Area: 3'126 sqm to handle 500 visitors.
Shopping Mall
  • Total area 5000 sqm.


The principle architects and designers of the project are London based Leit-Werk Ltd.

New Khartoum International Airport

New Khartoum International Airport

New Khartoum International Airport, Sudan

New Khartoum International Airport
New Khartoum International Airport

New Khartoum International Airport, Sudan
New Khartoum International Airport, Sudan
All images Courtesy Leit-Werk.


As mentioned above, the project's hefty price tag coupled with biting US sanctions prohibiting business to be done with various Sudanese companies, have been major stumbling blocks for the project. Still, blessed with vast petroleum reserves, Sudan's government has seen a boom in their local economy thanks largely to record world crude oil prices in the last few years. However, the succession of South Sudan in June last year, and along with it, the loss of the much disputed Abyei oil fields that lie on the frontier have proven to be hazardous to the Sudanese government's coffers. Still, IMF projections for the country's GDP over the next 5 years indicate a positive trend with figures likely to hit USD100billion in 2018, inspite of ongoing tensions with Juba.

The project in itself was originally scheduled to be completed by 2010, but persistent delays in funding have meant that it will most likely only be operational in 2016.

At this time, news reports state that basic roadwork and water infrastructure has been laid down at the construction site.

[UPDATE 17 JULY 2013] The mystery bank has now been revealed as China's Export-Import Bank, with construction, to be completed in a record 40 months, to now be undertaken by the China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC).

The construction site in Omdurman at present (bottom left)