The largest airport in Senegal is set to be opened in December this year. Blaise Diagne International (AIBD) will now take over services from Senegal’s current flagship airport Léopold Sédar Senghor International in capital city Dakar, which will cease operations once the project is completed.
Unlike many airports in Africa that are normally located near the capital, the new airport will be located in rural Diass, around 40km East of Dakar. Its location was informed by the need for space and diversification of the economy out of the capital Dakar.
“The idea is to see if we could drag economic activities out of Dakar,” says AIBD Deputy Director General El Hadji Ibrahima Mané. “New infrastructure is essential to this ambition,” he added.
Largest airport in Senegal
Built on a 4,500-hectare land area, Blaise Diagne International Airport will have an initial capacity of three million passengers per year, rising to 10 million every year. The new facility is also designed to accommodate larger planes like the Airbus A380. The airport project will cost US $400m.
The AIBD airport also boasts of a larger terminal and runways that can accommodate more passengers and flights.The airport will provide over 540 employment opportunities during its operational phase.
Mooted in 2007, the construction of the airport has been hit by delays related to land compensation and other financial issues.