Tuesday, August 6, 2013

■ CONGO (BRAZZAVILLE): Djambala International Airport's runway inaugurated.

The Republic of Congo's third international airport, situated in Djambala, 400km north of Brazzaville, has seen its runway inaugurated following the arrival of a Trans Air Congo (Q8) B737-300 carrying a delegation of government suits and bureaucrats late last week. The project was launched in 2001.

Built by the Congolese subsidiary of French contractors, Vinci, S-GEC Congo has thus far completed a 2'500x30m long runway and associated taxiways and apron, as well as a presidential pavilion though the actual terminal and control tower are still works in progress.

With a price tag of USD45million (XFA22.7billion), the airport falls under the Government's XFA400billion initiative to upgrade and modernize rural infrastructure as well as stimulate economic activity in the country's poorer and diffuclt-to-access interior.

According to Jean Jacques Bouya, the Congolese Minister at the Presidency for Spatial Planning and Major Projects, and himself a pilot, Djambala Airport is a project of great importance nationally, regionally and internationally. 
"Infrastructure always precedes development. One cannot have development without infrastructure. Whatever plans you may undertake, if you do not have infrastructure, you will not have development," he argued.
Djambala will operate on an ad-hoc basis for the meantime with no scheduled flights set to operate for the immediate foreseeable future. ATC will be handled by Brazzaville and Ollombo Airports while the construction of the control tower is underway.