Thursday, November 22, 2012

■ ALGERIA: Construction of new Terminal at Algiers Houari Boumediene Airport set to begin in 2014.

Flag of AlgeriaThe Algerian government has forged ahead with its previously mentioned plans of transforming Houari Boumediene International Airport in the Algerian capital, Algiers, into an international hub. In an interview with Algerian paper Tout sur l'Algérie, the airport's CEO Tahar Allache allured to a new terminal to be built by 2018 and which will accommodate 10 million passengers per year, in addition to extra-wide-bodies such as the Airbus A380.

Site plan of Houari Boumediene International Airport, Algiers (OpenStreet)
According to Allache, the contract, worth USD425million (EUR330million), was awarded by the Société de Gestion des Services et Infrastructures Aéroportuaires (SGSIA) to Pointec (Spain) and BET Llewlyne BREA (Algeria).

The new "Western terminal" is to be built on a 65 hectare plot located between the existing international terminal and the new VIP lounge at the airport, with construction to start in 2014, and is expected to be complete by 2018. It will also cater for very large aircraft such as the Airbus A380. No extension to the existing 3'500m long runways (05/23 & 09/27) is needed - for the meantime - though the second taxiway will be extended from 1'500m to 1'800 meters in order to accommodate more aircraft movements and optimize the number of landings and take-offs.

Regarding the possibility of a new airport, Allache responded:
"Currently, Algiers airport has a total capacity of 10 million passengers broken down as follows: 6,000,000 for International flights, 2.5 million relating to domestic and 1.5 million relate tocharter and hajj operations. Building a second airport is not easy. We prefer to remain on this site as we have the basic infrastructure and airport space available current may be sufficient for its development up to 2050 or 2060 with the extension of the new area located south of the Airport . Therefore, a second airport is not expected at the moment."
Inaugurated in 2006, the current international terminal has a capacity of six million passengers per annum. However, estimates for 2012 indicate that roughly 5.2 million passengers are expected, which implies, that if current demand is sustained, present air traffic & passenger handling facilities should reach saturation by 2018.