Bugesera International Airport
Bugesera International Airport
|Airport type||Public, Civilian|
|Owner||Rwanda Civil Aviation Authority|
|Elevation AMSL||4,600 ft / 1,400 m|
Bugesera Airport is located in southeastern Rwanda, in Bugesera District, near the town of Rilima. This location is approximately 25 kilometres (16 mi), by air, and about 40 kilometres (25 mi), by road, south of Kigali International Airport. The approximate coordinates of Bugesera International Airport are: 02°08'09.0"S, 30°11'00.0"E (Latitude:-2.135833; Longitude:30.183333). Bugesera International Airport is situated at an altitude of 1,400 metres (4,593 ft) above sea level.
Bugesera International Airport will become Rwanda's largest International Airport, serving commercial flights destined to and from the greater Kigali metropolitan area. When completed, it will become Rwanda's third International Airport, and the country's 8th airport overall. It will complement Kigali International Airport, which is now operating at maximum capacity.
The airport will initially have a single paved runway. During the second phase of construction, a second runway will be added. The estimated cost for Phase I is US$418 million, while Phase II is budgeted to cost US$382 million, for a total of US$800 million. It was anticipated that Phase I will be completed in 2018. The British engineering firm, TPS Consult Plc., was commissioned to carry out a feasibility study and design the new airport. Subsequent phases will follow with higher passenger and cargo capacities. In November 2010, press reports indicated that the Rwanda government had retained the International accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, to provide financial advice and lead the search for funding of the project. The government wants to develop Bugesera Airport as a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) project.
In December 2019, Qatar Airways agreed to take a 60 percent stake in the airport. As per the Rwanda Development Board, first phase of construction would provide facilities for seven million passengers a year. And, the second phase, which is expected to be completed by 2032, would increase the capacity to 14 million passengers a year.
In September 2016, the government of Rwanda signed a binding agreement with Mota-Engil of Portugal to fund, build and operate the new airport for 25 years under concession from the government, with the contract renewable for an additional 15 years. Mota-Engil agreed to provide the $418 million to fund the first phase of construction. Commercial operations were expected to begin in 2018.
In August 2017, construction began. The projected cost is now US$828 million. Mota-Engil, through its subsidiary Mota-Engil Africa is the main contractor and is providing 75 percent of the funding. The Rwandan company called Aviation Travel and Logistics (ATL), is providing the remaining 25 percent of the funding. ATL will also provide ground handling services at the airport. Completion of the first phase is expected in 2019. Construction on some parts of the airport was halted temporarily to pave way for a redesign.
Under the new arrangements with Qatar Airways, a much larger airport is planned, with a construction budget of US$1.31 billion. The first phase is planned to take five years, with completion of the second phase planned in 2032.
According to the TPS report, the new airport would be able to handle one million passengers and 150 million tonnes of cargo annually during its first phase. Bugesera International Airport will have a 30,000 square metre passenger terminal with 22 check-in counters, ten gates, and six passenger boarding bridges. It will also have provisions for a second runway.
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