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New $3.8 Billion Angola Gateway Seeks To Become Regional Hub

A new $3.8 billion airport being built in Angola’s capital Luanda will seek to position the southern African nation as a regional aviation hub once the facility opens before the end of the year.

Speaking to Aviation Week, Coordinator of the Operational Office of the New Luanda International Airport José Paulo Nobrega says the project is steadily advancing—with construction nearing the 90% mark—and it is expected to reach completion by November. In parallel, certification processes, including calibration flights, are in progress.

Agostinho Neto International Airport (ANIA), located about 26 mi. from the center of Luanda, will include a terminal building capable of handling 15 million passengers per year, a 13,780-ft. northern runway and 12,467-ft. southern runway, a hotel, shops and restaurants. The first phase will also be able to handle 130,000 tons of cargo annually.

“ANIA will be a powerful driver for our economy,” Nobrega says. “Its operation will create thousands of direct and indirect jobs—the creation of the airport city will be a center for development in our city, focusing on sustainability and urban mobility.”

Built on a 43-hectare site by AVIC, plans for the state-owned new airport have been in the works for more than a decade, but have been delayed several times. Once operational, however, ANIA will replace the existing Quatro de Fevereiro International Airport (LAD) as Angola’s main international gateway and become a new hub for the country’s flag-carrier, TAAG Angola Airlines.

TAAG offers flights to 23 destinations from LAD at present, 12 of which are international to points including Johannesburg; Lisbon, Portugal; and Sao Paulo. Additionally, a further 10 carriers serve the airport.

Nobrega says that Angola’s Transport Ministry has received “several indications of interest” from other international carriers seeking to enter Angola’s market once ANIA opens. He adds: “We have a changing and increasingly attractive legal and economic framework. The reforms that have been carried out in the country are aimed at making Luanda an equally attractive destination for various aviation operators.”

Efficient cargo handling at ANIA will bolster businesses, Nobrega says, especially those dealing with the export of perishable goods such as vegetables, tropical fruit, fish and seafood. “With the support of ANIA, they will be able to reach consumer destinations in Europe and the Americas within 24 hr.,” he adds.

Angola’s government is expected to launch a tender for the management of ANIA in the coming weeks, with a successful bidder due to be selected before the end of 2023.

Source: Aviation Week