Luanda — The President of the Republic, João Lourenço, on Friday, November 10, inaugurated the Dr. António Agostinho Neto (AIAAN) International Airport, located in the urban district of Bom Jesus, municipality of Icolo e Bengo, province of Luanda.
The inauguration ceremony of the infrastructure, which takes place on the eve of the celebration of 48 years of national independence, was attended by 1,500 guests.
Before cutting the ribbon that symbolized the start of AIAAN, a new rail line was opened from Bungo railway station, to facilitate passenger mobility.
The infrastructure, built 40 kilometers from the country’s capital, will come into operation in phases, with the first reserved for cargo services, until February 2024.
According to the operating schedule for the new Luanda International Airport, the 2nd phase begins in February 2024, with domestic flight operations. According to the Angolan Government’s planning, the last stage, scheduled for June 2024, will be marked by the start of international flight operations.
In the first phase, the new airport will operate with provisional certification, as there is not yet sufficient experience in infrastructure operations.
The gradual opening occurs for reasons of safety, testing, certification and staff training, to assess actual demand, procedures that help minimize risks and ensure a smooth transition to full operation.
The new airport infrastructure, valued at $2.8 billion US Dollars, has an area of 1324 hectares and can accommodate a cargo volume of 130,000 tons/year. According to technical studies, it is the third largest airport in Africa in terms of passenger volume per year.
The expected number is 15 million passengers per year, 10 million on international flights and five million on domestic flights. With two parallel runways, the airport is prepared to receive B747 and A380 aircrafts, the latter considered the largest commercial aircraft in the world.
The south runway (the largest), which is 4,000 meters by 60 meters wide, received, in June 2022, the first experimental flight of a Boeing 777 type aircraft from the national flag company – TAAG.
In addition to the two runways, AIAAN also has 31 boarding lanes, of which 19 for international services and 11 for domestic services, as well as 9 conveyor belts for baggage storage, six of which are dedicated to international flights.
The infrastructure includes 26 counters of the Migration and Foreigners Service (SME), a parking lot for 1,710 vehicles, as well as space reserved for shops, in an area of 1,825 square meters.
It also has 22 VIP lounges, a clinic and a first aid center attached to the passenger terminal, in addition to contemplating the construction of an airport city from scratch, which will cover a total area of 75km2.
Dr. António Agostinho Neto International Airport has ramps, elevators and trained staff to pay special attention to people with reduced mobility.
The new airport was designed to be a HUB, with domestic, regional and international connections, being Angola’s main gateway to the world.
According to forecasts by the Angolan Government, the entry into operation of the infrastructure will boost the growth of national and regional air transport, potentially benefiting approximately 415 million inhabitants in the sub-region.
It is expected that the new international airport will play a fundamental role in increasing tourism and promoting Angola’s image, as it will facilitate the arrival and departure of visitors, expanding flight and service options.
According to the Angolan authorities, the airport will serve as a “showcase of Angola’s culture, history and identity, arousing the interest of tourists and potential investors”, therefore being a strategic tool for the growth of the tourism sector.
This airport infrastructure is expected to attract more tourists and business travelers, increasing the country’s tax revenues, especially from the tourism sector.
With the airport, Angola hopes to boost, through cargo transport, the export of products such as vegetables, tropical fruits, seafood, fish, among other products, according to the coordinator of the property’s Operational Office, José Nóbrega.
As part of the construction of this airport infrastructure, conditions were created for public transport access to the new airport, through trains and buses, namely the construction of new stations in Bungo, Musseques, Viana and Baia, in addition to a connection station and the New Airport Railway Terminal. VM/DOJ