ADDIS ABABA, June 28 (Xinhua) -- Expansion work on Ethiopia's largest airport the Addis Ababa Bole International Airport is expected to be finished just in time for the 30th Ordinary Summit of the African Union in January 2018.
The statement was sent to Xinhua on Wednesday by Hailu Lemu, Chief Engineer of Ethiopian Airports Enterprise (EAE), the state-owned entity tasked with administering Ethiopia's airports.
Fully funded by China's Exim Bank, the 345-million-U.S.-dollar airport expansion project will increase its annual passenger handling capacity from the current 7 million to 22 million.
The project lying on 74,000 square meters is being constructed by China Communications Construction Company Limited (CCCC).
CCCC is also building an industrial park dedicated to producing construction materials 140 kms east of Addis Ababa and another one dedicated to textile and apparel sectors in Mekelle city, capital of Tigray regional state.
It is also constructing the 220-km Woldiya-Mekelle electrified rail project.
"Ethiopia aims to become a tourist destination and a favored destination for conferences but the current airport's capacity is overstretched, hosting sometimes 9 million passengers annually," said Lemu.
"Once the airport expansion project completed, I expect Addis Ababa Bole international Airport to be one of the busiest if not the busiest international airport in Africa," he stated.