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Kigali International Airport in Rwanda

The main airport servicing Kigali, the capital of Rwanda, is Kigali International Airport, formerly known as Kanombe International Airport. The airport is situated in the suburb of Kanombe Sector, on the eastern outskirts of Kigali, some 5 kilometers by road east of the city’s commercial center.

There are three terminals. The single-story structure that once housed the VIP terminal was replaced by the main, two-story terminal. The primary terminal can accommodate up to a Boeing 747 jet as well as six small-to-mid-sized aircraft. Two helicopter pads with access to the main runway are located on the south side of the runway and are utilized by military helicopters. There is also a freight terminal.

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Reported in April 2013

US$15 Million Facelift for Rwanda Airport

Works to expand Kigali International Airport will commence soon and, upon completion, at least $15 million will have been spent, according to officials from the Civil Aviation Authority.

The expansion was necessitated by the aviation industry, attracting new entries with the latest being South African Airways, Qatar Air, and Turkish Airlines. These have joined RwandAir, SN-Brussels, KLM, Ethiopian Airlines, Kenya Airways, and Air Uganda.

The expansion is aimed at enhancing the services as well as accommodating the growing capacity of traffic at the airport. It will be done in three phases; the departure lounge, the arrivals area as well as baggage area.

CAA’s communications officer, Tony Barigye, said that the design for expansion has already been completed and construction would begin in two weeks’ time.  Tony said as the economy grows, the number of passengers is expected to increase causing congestion at the airport and that is why they want to expand it.

Available statistics indicate that for the past three years, passenger traffic has been increasing at a rate of 15 percent per year. Currently, 400, 000 passengers use KIA annually.

Reported in July 2015

World-class logistics facility to be constructed at Kigali International Airport

Rwanda is planning to construct a world-class modern logistics facility at Kigali International Airport; this comes after a signing between the government and DHL Express.

Charles Brewer, the DHL Express Managing Director for sub-Saharan Africa, confirmed the reports and said that the facility will operate as an airside transit gateway, adding that the company wants to use Rwanda as a hub for its operations in the East African region and help boost export trade in the country.

“Construction will commence in August and it will take a period of nine months to be complete,” said Brewer.

DHL is expected to chip in US$ 3.5m to see the logistic facility come to reality. It is anticipated that the development will make it possible for small-and-medium entrepreneurs to access services at affordable prices.

“This is an important development that will significantly improve the logistics sector, and will also support the government’s efforts geared at enhancing the industry,” Julie Mutoni, DHL Express Rwanda chief said.

The development is projected to have air and land access, accommodating the firm’s country office, courier operations gateway, warehouse, transport vehicles, and other operational equipment.

Logistical facilities are usually used as part of the benchmark to negotiate trade with investors. It is anticipated that establishing some of these facilities in the country will make Rwanda more competitive and help heighten export trade.

DHL Express is a division of the German logistics company Deutsche Post DHL providing international express mail services. Deutsche Post is the world’s largest logistics company operating around the world.

Reported in September 2015

Construction works on taxiway at Kigali International Airport in Rwanda begin

Rwanda has finally commenced construction works on the new taxiway at Kigali International Airport in Rwanda that will hopefully facilitate easy movement of aircraft and enhance efficiency at the airport.

Dr. Alexis Nzahabwanimana, the State Minister for Transport confirmed the reports and said that the construction will take 12 months for it to be complete and will lead to saving a lot of expenditure.

“A parallel taxiway enhances expedited turnaround of air carriers thus saving time, burning less fuel, and saving money,” Nzahabwanimana pointed out.

The construction of Kigali International Airport in Rwanda which is being undertaken by Mota-Engil Africa will assist in the enhancement of the aviation sector and position Rwanda as one of the aviation hubs in the region going forward.

Alex Buterere, the RwandAir senior manager in charge of grounds operations, said that such initiatives will significantly boost the Rwanda Civil Aviation Authority’s capacity to handle the increasing air traffic at Kigali International Airport and reduce the cost of doing business besides growing the aviation industry.

Mota-Engil Africa is one of the leading providers of integrated engineering and construction services in sub-Saharan Africa.

Kigali International Airport has recently experienced growth in international and domestic arrivals from 263,264 in 2008 to 600,000 passengers currently, credit to the US$17.8 million rehabilitation and expansion project that was concluded last year. Under the project, the interior of the terminal building was given a ‘more appealing’ architectural outlook and expanded to handle 1.5 million passengers per year.

Oct 2018

Kigali Airport Rwanda – EDS Hanger Door Automation Project

When the President of the African Sovereign State of Rwanda wanted to secure his Aircraft Hanger at Kigali Airport, they came to EDSUK to help find a solution.

The aircraft hanger was built some years previously but was manually operated as opposed to automatic, which took upwards of six men to manually open and close the 15 meters high, 90 meters wide eight sixteen panel doors, and had obviously Health & Safety Risks.

Following a worldwide search, the Rwanda Airports Company Ltd had several organizations that came and looked at the project but turned it down due to the complexities and challenges involved.

International Automation, Security and Engineering specialists

As we like a challenge at EDSUK and given we are International Automation, Security, and Engineering specialists, with a forte in dealing with bespoke and complicated projects, we took on the project.

We, therefore, flew a team of engineers out from the UK to visit Kigali Airport in Rwanda and carry out a full site survey to help us understand the exact nature of the project. This then enabled our engineers to create a full 3d mock-up of the Aircraft Hanger Doors and adapt them to facilitate the automation.

The latter required a great deal of design time to create the perfect solution for the client’s needs, from both a security and practical perspective.

The large-scale automation system

The large-scale automation system we are manufacturing is completely British manufactured from our factory in Birmingham West Midlands UK and as such, comes with the highest level of quality and the UK’s finest minds working to develop a solution that is not only fit for purpose but also completely safe and regulated.

Our team of specialist engineers has been working tirelessly to develop a solution that completely fits the need of our client, and will be shortly flying out to Africa to finally implement the fruits of our labors. All of us at EDS are extremely excited to be involved in such a pivotal project for the development of Kigali International airport, and the region.

From the initial inquiry, through the quoting process, design process, and beyond, our team has worked tirelessly to provide a prestige level of service from 6,200 + Miles away, and ensure a strong working relationship between EDS and the client, in order to make the project run as smoothly as possible.

Overall, the process from start to finish has been an amazing project to develop and be a part of, and we hope to work with more organizations like Kigali Airport, in order to drive their operations into the future!

May 2020

Rwanda embarks on upgrade works at Kigali International Airport

Upgrade works at Kigali International Airport by Rwanda Airports Company (RAC) have begun. The works cover major areas of the airport and take advantage of the suspension of aviation travel as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic.

This was revealed by Firmin Karambizi, the Managing Director of RAC.  Mr. Karambizi said that during this period they are particularly looking to expand the aircraft parking capacity, the runway strip, and also the arrival terminal.

An overview of the expected works

The upgrade works to Kigali International Airport will include the arrival terminal which will be extended to have an extra passenger processing area, allowing it to fully comply with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standards, which recommends countries implement automated facilities for passenger and baggage processing.

The ICAO also recommends the installation of flight information systems capable of providing accurate, adequate, and up-to-the-minute information on departures, arrivals, cancellations, delays, and terminal/gate allocations.

Also Read: Qatar Airways set to build new Rwandan International Airport

The aim is to cut back on queues to speed up the flow of passengers and avoid congestion in the terminal area.

On the other hand, the service road/runway strip according to Karambizi will be extended to 3.1 kilometers in order to increase safety in case of unintentional excursion from the runway surface, while the parking area will be expanded to allow the airport to accommodate at least 18 aircraft at ago.

Previous upgrade works

Over US$ 30M according to RAC has been invested in the upgrade of the airport during the last three years, allowing it to have a new apron, three taxiways, a hangar, and improved airfield lighting.

The maintenance and upgrades have precisely reduced congestion at the check-in and arrival areas, expanded the departure lounge area, increased VIP comfort, and enhanced baggage handling efficiency.

The activities have also eased travelers’ movements within the terminal area, seen the installation of facilities for people with special needs, increased the number of duty-free outlets, and also expanded the shopping experience.

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