Senegal’s new international airport opens

The inauguration and effective operation of the Blaise Diagne International Airport (AIBD) is expected to commence on 7 December 2017.

Addressing the Council of Ministers recently, Senegal’s Presiden Macky Sall said: “It is important to increase the professionalisation of the airport security and safety, to reinforce the personnel and motivation of the mobilized security forces, and to consider the additional use of private security control companies, as it is done at the world-class airports.”

An inter-ministerial council dedicated to the opening and development of the AIBD airport will be held before the end of October on instructions from President Sall.

Construction of the airport was launched by former president Abdoulaye Wade who laid its foundation stone on 4 April 2007, while celebrating the 47th anniversary of the country’s independence.

Located at Diass, 47 km south-east of Dakar, the AIBD will have an initial capacity of handling three million passengers per year.

It required an initial investment of 375 billion CFA francs (571.68 million euros). Though initially planned to take 30 months, the project lagged and its completion has been postponed several times.

The name of the airport was chosen in honour to Blaise Diagne (1872-1934), the first African deputy elected to the French parliament in 1914.

President Sall has also directed the government to speed up the renovation of regional airports in Saint Louis, Matam, Ziguinchor and Cap Skirring, as well as the upcoming commissioning of the aircraft recently acquired by Air Senegal.