Gearing up for growth

AdobeStock 40547409Africa’s airports are gearing up for the future amid massive investment in terminal infrastructure and other facilities

As international air transport begins a slow recovery to pre-pandemic levels, a number of airport projects across Africa are making steady progress towards commercial operations. The new roster of airport projects also reveals a defined split between Chinese funded and traditional European-backed schemes.

In Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari recently commissioned the newly-built international terminal at Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos, which was built by China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) and supported by the Export and Import Bank of China (China Exim).

The terminal has the capacity to process 14 million passengers per year, reflecting the city’s growing significance as a business hub for the continent. It is part of a much broader upgrade plan for Nigeria, with other new terminals also underway or completed in Abuja, Port Harcourt, Kano, and Enugu.

Nigeria operated a total of 9,675 flights on international routes and 74,537 flights on domestic routes during 2021, with passenger numbers reaching just over one million and six million respectively, according to the country’s Civil Aviation Authority.

Given that Nigeria’s population is set to grow exponentially over the next generation, the new facilities will provide a platform for long term growth and underpin the next stage of economic development.

Learn more about the projects defining the continent's aviation sector in the May issue of African Review here.

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