President Paul Kagame on Wednesday laid the foundation stone for Bugesera International Airport at Rilima in Bugesera District.
The ground-breaking ceremony was attended by government officials and aviation operators.
“We may not be big but we will always strive to be our best,” Kagame said. “Bugesera Airport is an important part of Rwanda’s strategy for socioeconomic transformation; we see this facility as an essential component in boosting intra-African travel, investment and business.”
In September 2016, the government concluded negotiations for a public-private partnership with Mota-Engil Africa and Aviation Travel & Logistics Holding Ltd to develop the Bugesera International Airport. The private partners will construct, own, and operate the airport under a 25-year concession agreement.
The project will be developed in five phases, the first of which is expected to take 27 months and cost $400 million.
“Rwandans to whom we are accountable are used to having high expectations and trust us to deliver; this will be no different,” the President observed. “We look forward to celebrating the inauguration of the new airport in the not too distant future.”
At the completion of the first phase, the airport will be able to accommodate 1.8 million passengers per year. The development of the next phases will depend on passenger traffic and be financed by funds generated by the airport.
It is projected that at the end of the concession, Bugesera airport will accommodate a minimum of 6 million passengers per year.
Bugesera International Airport is in line with Rwanda’s economic blueprint, Vision 2020. The project is expected to have a high impact on socioeconomic transformation and the positioning of Rwanda as a regional hub. It will help sustain growth in the aviation sector by providing the necessary facilities to RwandAir as a growing airline.