Senegal: 400 billion CFA francs to make AIBD a real air hub

# Senegal : Blaise Diagne de Diass International Airport (AIBD) With a budget of 400 billion FCFA, 15 flagship projects aimed at consolidating the ambition of becoming an air hub are in the process of implementation, we learned from its Deputy Managing Director, Chek Thiam.

Among AIBD’s 15 flagship projects, featuring the construction of an aeronautical maintenance center, which should be completed within 18 months, he received about sixty students from ESSEC, a business school based at the airport premises on Friday. In Paris, including a campus in Morocco.

They are in Senegal as part of a study tour focusing on “The Challenges of Urbanization and Regional Development in Senegal: The Case of Dakar and St. Louis”.

According to Thiam, the national agency of the Aeronautical Maintenance Center should offer its services soon, with plans to increase its number from 11 to 14 planes and to other agencies in West Africa as well.

Added to this is an International Academy of Aviation Career Project, which has already started with 15 student pilots and 30 technicians.

>>> Read more: Air Senegal moves to New York and Washington to better build its “sub-regional air hub”

For its deputy general manager, Blaise Diagon International Airport is located at a slightly lower location, with hubs in Casablanca, Addis Ababa and Abidjan.

To do this, the airport needs to improve its geographical location by focusing on the “passenger experience” for a larger attraction of the platform.

AIBD plans to develop its connectivity with other regional airports, some of which are being standardized, according to Thiam.

The company, 60% owned by a joint venture of a Turkish company and 34% from the state of Senegal, is part of the post-Kovid recovery dynamics with 2.6 million passengers.

In May, it reached 2019 traffic, which it wants to surpass, Chek Thiam said.

>>> Read more: Air Transport: Air Senegal plans to transport 400,000 passengers monthly

In terms of freight, the airport platform recorded 37,000 tons, thus exceeding the target of 36,000 tons by 2025.

“In 2021, we finished -25% of traffic, while many African airports were at -30 or -35%,” Thiam says.

Blaise Diagne International Airport, launched in 2017, expects 5 million passengers in 2025 and 10 million passengers in 2035.

Authorities hope the entire ecosystem around the airport will affect the development of the hub.

This includes, among others, the development project of the urban center of Daga Kholpa town on 1,100 hectares of land for 8,000 housing units of various stands with the assistance of the World Bank.

According to project director Mandiya Ndia, the city is going to be both a place of residence and a place of work.

Added to this are the ports of Sendu and Andayan, as well as the city center of Dimniadio.

>>> Read more: Senegal: Air Senegal will strengthen its fleet by acquiring 8 new Airbuses

Which tells AIBD’s director general, Doudou Kâ, that apart from being an air hub, the platform with the port of Ndayane could position itself as an “international logistics hub”.

For Mamadou Ndion, the mayor of Dias Commune, where Keur Musa, along with AIBD, has ports and special economic zones in Ndayan, the constituency, which had a population of 70,000 twenty years ago, will soon grow to 300,000. Residents, will occupy many development opportunities.

To do this, it works in coordination with various state structures to coordinate planned actions in the airport area.

According to him, the municipality has adopted a roadmap, thanks to the efficiency of the Organization and Methods Office (BOM).

For ESSEC professor Frank Valerugo, creating a dynamic national airline “determines the location of companies, airports and the vicinity of airports”.

Valerugo, a chair holder in the link between business and local development, sees all these developments around the platform, including two new cities and the port of Andean, an “efficient whole” that could contribute to Dakar’s traffic congestion “in a state of saturation”. The potential to improve the “attractiveness and competitiveness” of this aggregate is all things.

In its airport development policy, the state has allocated a specific economic function for each airport in the country, Doudou Kâ noted, cap skiing, for example, is a tourist occupation.

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