According to Global Construction Review (GCR), less than a decade ago, Bole handled fewer than a million passengers a year, but that rose to 7 million in 2014. Passenger numbers are expected to continue increasing by 18 per cent a year.
China Communication Construction Company is currently working on the $300m expansion to the airport, which started in September 2014. This will raise capacity to an estimated 20 million.
Hailu Gebre-Mariam, Ethiopian Airports Enterprise project manager for the expansion, told Reuters: “We did not expect this growth to happen in eight years. That is why we are undertaking an expansion of the airport that will serve us for the next 15.”
Gebre-Mariam said: “We have whittled down potential sites from eight to three, all of which are within 60 to 70-kms from Addis Ababa.”
Once the site is approved and designs and financing are confirmed a new airport might be built within eight years at an estimated cost of $2.5-3bln.