Tuesday, November 13, 2012

■ CONGO (KINSHASA): (Pics) N'djili Airport Runway 06/24 rehabilitation nearing completion.

DRC Congo Flag

Kinshasa's N'Djili International Airport's runway 06/24 refurbishment.

Kinshasa's N'Djili International Airport's runway 06/24 refurbishment is nearing completion, after more than 58 years of neglect, mismanagement and successive wars left it seriously damaged (cracks, rot, potholes, subsidence, reduced exploitable length),  thereby making landing and takeoffs both difficult and dangerous.

Landing at N'djili in the past, a very bumpy experience


According to the ICAO, over 50% of  plane crashes  in Africa occur in DRC. An average of 229 incidents/accidents were  recorded in Congo (roughly 22 each year) between 2000 and 2009, claiming 296 lives; 60% of incidents/accidents are caused by decrepit infrastructure, obsolete and insufficient air navigation and communication equipment; 30% are attributable to poor calibre aircraft inspectors and crew; whilst 10% are due to human error.

Owing to its vast size, the  airplane still remains the preferred mode of transportation for food aid to remote areas of the Democratic Republic of Congo, despite the political insecurity that still prevails in vast tracts of the country.

Against this backdrop, the DRC Government, through the Régie des Voies Aériennes (RVA), a public corporation responsible for the management of Congolese airports and air navigation safety,  prepared a comprehensive programme in early 2009 for the rehabilitation and development of airport infrastructure and air navigation equipment for the period 2010-2015. 

The overall programme called for an investment of USD642million. 

The projects within this framework include: 
  1. The implementation of Phase I of the Communication, Navigation, Surveillance/Air Traffic Management (CNS/ATM) Plan financed by the World Bank to the tune of USD5 million,
  2. The partial execution, with resources from the Infrastructure Development Fund (IDEF), of works on the rehabilitation of the runway as well as the construction of the air terminal of the Kinshasa/N’Djili Airport for USD54 million.
Additional financing has been requested from private banks, the African Development Bank’s private sector window and the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA).


The Congolese Government made a request to the African Development Bank’s  Private  Sector  Department, the DBSA and other private banks, including  Banque Nationale de Paris (BNP), to finance the project to rehabilitate the infrastructure of Kinshasa/N’djili Airport (runway and air terminal) to the tune of USD185million. The justification for the AfDB’s involvement is strongly linked to the  implementation of  PPSA (the Priority Air Safety Project),  as it will help to enhance the RVA’s financial viability by ensuring that infrastructure and air navigation equipment comply with international standards.

The French Development Agency (AFD)  contributed to financing studies on the improvement of the Ndjili Airport runway 06/24 and development of a financial model for the RVA to the tune of nearly USD880'000 (EUR700'000). 


For this project, Aéroports de Paris Ingénierie performed visual inspections of the runway in order to produce a site inventory and to define the requirements for the subsequent geotechnical tests. ADPI was also in charge of emergency works to ensure that the platform remained operational. ADPI also performed assistance in the call for tenders regarding the extensive reinforcement operations.

Chinese contractor's Sinohydro were awarded the USD65million contract.


Runway: 06/24
Length: Reduced from original 4'200m to 3'600m
Width: 60m
Lighting: Runway 24 threshold: CAT 2, Runway 06: CAT 1 markup threshold 06;

Before Pictures

Kinshasa Ndjili International Runway 06/24 May 2009
Kinshasa Ndjili International May 2009 (ALazarev)

Surface of Runway at Kinshasa Ndjili International May 2009

Demolition of the existing surface in 2009

 Demolition of runway at Kinshasa Ndjili International

Progress thus far

Most of the runway has been resurfaced (except the first and last 500mts) but the ILS is still not operational .

Kinshasa Ndjili International March 2010 (ALazarev)

Kinshasa Ndjili International September 2012 (ALazarev)

As always, stay tuned for further updates when the runway is officially completed.