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Airport infrastructure is a key economic growth vector and essential to Africa’s development. Vital for opening up regions with no seaboard or with limited road and rail networks, the aviation sector is remarkably economical in terms of infrastructure: one airport with a 3 km runway can provides connections to the whole world.


This article is an excerpt from Issue 24 – Air transport, a vital challenge for Africa

The development of African airport hubs is frequently hampered by a lack of adequate funding. To meet current international standards, African airports need to enhance their expertise, improve security and safety equipment and boost the efficiency of their logistics. They also need to develop and maintain the skills of the personnel who operate these facilities.

Specialists are working with African airport hubs to help meet these challenges. A number of French stakeholders, operators and engineering specialists are helping to provide a network of sustainable airports right across Africa – from Cameroon to Guinea-Conakry, Kenya and Tanzania.

One airport with a 3 km runway can provides connections to the whole world.


Multiple management solutions for Aéroports du Cameroun
By Jean-François Guitard, Development Manager, Aéroports de la Côte d’Azur
The Aéroports de la Côte d’Azur group provides training and advisory and management services via its airport engineering subsidiary, Nice Airport Management (NAMA). NAMA is particularly active in Cameroon where it works with Aéroports du Cameroun (ADC), a company with a majority public shareholding that manages the country’s seven major airports. Since 2011, ADC has availed of the expertise of several European airport managers. NAMA has trained over 80 airport executives and also provides consulting services. For example, it has assisted ADC in defining its marketing strategy for 2012–2017 and has been working on a comprehensive airline development strategy since 2015. The Aéroports de Lyon group is also partnering ADC’s project to upgrade the runway at Douala Airport and redevelop the airport terminal.


Egis technical assistance at Nairobi airport
By Frédéric Nicolon, Executive Vice President, Egis Avia
With over 6 million passengers each year, Nairobi Airport is one of Africa’s 10 busiest airports. It is a major national and regional hub and its infrastructure also generates socio-economic benefits. Egis Avia – one of Europe’s leading air transport consulting and engineering firms – worked with Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) from 2010 to 2015. With funding from the Agence française de développement and the European Investment Bank, Egis provided technical and management assistance for an airport expansion project. This included training staff to operate the infrastructure over the long term. As well as airport planning and infrastructure engineering, this work also involved awareness-raising initiatives, training and the dissemination of best practices with a focus on security, social and environmental issues, the airport’s financial viability and the need for accountable and effective governance.


ADP in Tanzania and Guinea-Conakry
By Frédéric Thénevin, Business Development Director, Africa, ADP Ingénierie
With funding from Agence Française de Développement (AFD), ADP Ingénierie (a subsidiary of Aéroports de Paris (ADP) group) conducted studies for the renovation and expansion of the Dar es Salaam airport terminal on behalf of the Tanzania Airports Authority. ADP Management (another ADP subsidiary), is a shareholder in SOGEAC, the company that operates Conakry Airport. Using this terminal’s operating revenues, renovation work commenced in 2013. Local stakeholders conducted feasibility and impact studies and an economically viable project was drawn up, backed by a solid financing framework. The project management works phase must now offer guarantees to contracting authorities and financial backers that key objectives, such as keeping to schedules and cost requirements, will be met. This will guarantee the airport’s long-term economic, environmental, social and financial viability, and consequently the repayment of loans.