The brand new Blaise Diagne International Airport which serves Dakar, Senegal, opened on December 7.
The facility, which is almost 30 miles (47km) from the country’s capital, has taken ten years to complete and has cost almost $600m. The project was originally expected to be completed in 2011, but was beset by problems and delays. It will be connected to the city by a new rail link which is expected to be commissioned by the end of next year, and a toll road.
The terminal . The airport has been built on a 11,000 acres (4,500ha), enabling expansion that was not possible at the city’s older airport. It is already capable of handling aircraft as large as Airbus A380, and has a single runway, 01/19, measuring 11,483ft (3,500m). The terminal covers 450,000sq ft (42,000m2) on two levels with six airbridges, and is initially capable of handling 3m ppa but can be extended to accommodate up to 10m ppa. The cargo facilities cover a further 138,000sq ft (12,800m2). The aprons can accommodate up to 50 aircraft including 26 large and six smaller airliners, plus 18 general aviation and corporate aircraft. It will be served by African and European carriers, with Air Senegal having a regional hub on the airfield.
Blaise Diagne International will replace Dakar’s old airport, Léopold Sédar Senghor International, closed to civilian traffic but will continue to be used by the military forces.
Photo: Dakar’s new airport opened on December 7. (Airport International De Dakar)