Planning for capacity in the context of africa a case study of ethiopia kenya and south africa
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Planning for Capacity in the Context of Africa: A Case Study of Ethiopia, Kenya, and South Africa. 1.231 Term Project Esther Njuguna. Introduction. Brief overview of the aviation industry in Africa – characteristics: Low safety and environmental standards Old aircraft fleet

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Planning for Capacity in the Context of Africa: A Case Study of Ethiopia, Kenya, and South Africa

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Planning for Capacity in the Context of Africa: A Case Study of Ethiopia, Kenya, and South Africa

1.231 Term Project

Esther Njuguna


  • Brief overview of the aviation industry in Africa – characteristics:

    • Low safety and environmental standards

    • Old aircraft fleet

    • Need for autonomy in civil aviation authorities

    • Need for infrastructure and training

    • Need for collaboration between airlines and open skies agreements

  • Optimistic growth in the industry over the next years

    • Demand for air transport in Africa has increased steadily over the past years with passenger numbers and freight traffic growing by 45% and 80%

  • Unequal growth – strong hubs in southern and eastern Africa; stagnant market in central and western Africa

  • Kenya

    • Kenya in brief

    • Factors that have contributed to the country’s growth in aviation

    • Main airport – Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (IATA/ICAO Code JKIA)

    • Flag carrier – Kenya Airways (IATA/ICAO Code KQ)

    History and Traffic Performance at JKIA

    • Opened in 1958 as Embakasi Airport

    • Managed and operated by the Kenya Airports Authority, which is a parastatal organization

    • Serves as a hub airport for KQ and Fly540, which is an LCC

    • Handles 75% of the national aviation traffic; 8th busiest in Africa with respect to passenger traffic, and the 3rd busiest with respect to cargo traffic

    • Max capacity of 2.5 mill. pax when opened in 1958

    History and Traffic Performance at JKIA Cont.

    • By 2006, the airport was handling in excess of 4.4 million pax – almost twice its maximum capacity

    • Aircraft movements, as well, almost reaching the capacity of the airport – airport’s runway capacity is at 120,000 movements per annum, which is 83% utilization

    Passenger Movements at JKIA

    Aircraft Movements at JKIA

    Traffic Outlook at JKIA

    Facilities at JKIA

    • One asphalt runway that is 4,117 meters long (13,507ft), 45 meters wide (148 ft.), oriented 06/24

    • Semi-circular pier terminal building with a capacity of 58,000m2

    • Unit 1 and 2 are used for international operations; Unit 3 is used for domestic operations

    Overview Image of JKIA

    Semi-Circular Terminal Building at JKIA

    Upgrading and Expansion of JKIA

    • The Kenya Vision 2030

    • The modernization and expansion of JKIA is one of the initiatives proposed by the Kenya Vision 2030

    • The project is divided into 8 packages

    International Pier (Unit 4)

    Overview of Completed Expansion


    • Ethiopia in brief

    • Main airport – Bole International Airport (ICAO Code HAAB)

    • Flag carrier – Ethiopian Airlines (IATA/ICAO Code ETH)

    • Ethiopian Airline’s vision: to become the leading aviation group in Africa by the year 2025.

    History and Traffic Performance of Bole International Airport

    • Opened in 1950 as Haile Selassie I International Airport

    • Operated by the Ethiopian Airports Enterprise

    • Serves as a hub to Ethiopian Airways

    • Max capacity at inception was 500,000 pax per annum

    • Major expansion in the early 1980s was planned to increase the capacity to 6-7 mill. Pax per annum

    History and Traffic Performance of Bole International Airport Cont.

    Facilities at Bole International Airport

    • 2 Terminals – Terminal 1 is dedicated to domestic operations and Terminal 2 is dedicated to international operations; Terminal 1 has 4 airline gates and Terminal 2 is fairly new (opened in 2003) and has 7 airline gates; Terminal 2 is a modern steel-and-glass building with 3 levels, its own parking garage, shopping complex, restaurants, and other amenities

    • 2 close-parallel asphalt runways, one of which was completed in 2003;one runway is oriented 07R/25L and is 4,725m (15,502ft) long and the other is oriented 07L/25R and is 4,604m (15,301ft) long

    Expansion Project at Bole

    • Another expansion project announced in December 2010, consisting of the following major plans:

    • Construction of a new taxiway; This first phase of the project has been completed at a total cost of $62 million. This has permitted the airport to be able to handle 34 aircraft simultaneously (up from 19 aircraft previously) with the second phase already underway to further increase that capacity to 44 aircraft

    • Construction of a new extension that will connect the international terminal (Terminal 2) with the domestic terminal (Terminal 1)

    • Construction of a new state-of-the-art cargo terminal that is set to handle 1.2mill tonnes of cargo per annum

    • Plans to build an entirely new international airport are under discussion

    South Africa

    • South Africa in brief

    • Nation’s main airport is O.R Tambo International Airport, Johannesburg (ICAO Code FAOR)

    • Flag carrier – South African Airways (ICAO Code SAA)

    History and Traffic Performance of O.R. Tambo International Airport

    • Located in Gauteng, SA, near Johannesburg

    • Founded in 1952 as Jan Smuts Airport, was renamed to Johannesburg International Airport in 1994, and then again in 2006

    • It handles more than 50% of the nation’s air passenger traffic

    • It is operated by the Airports Company South Africa (ACSA)

    • It is the biggest and busiest airport in the continent

    • Currently has a capacity to handle 28 million passengers per annum, after an expansion project in 2008 aimed at handling the influx of passengers expected during the 2010 FIFA World Cup

    Facilities at OR Tambo

    • 6 terminals that are broken down into 3 major areas: Terminal A used for international operations, Terminal B used for domestic operations, and a Central Terminal Building which is used as a transit between the other two

    • Terminal A has 3 levels: ground level is for international arrivals; first level is for international departures; mezzanine level is for both international departures and arrivals

    • Terminal B has 4 levels: ground level is for domestic arrivals; first level has retail outlets for both arriving and departing passengers; second level is for domestic check-ins and departures; third level has several offices and lounges

    Facilities at OR Tambo Cont.

    • 2 parallel runways which run north-south, and a disused cross runway

    • Western runway is oriented 03L/21R and has a length of 4,418m – making it one of the world’s longest international runways; attributed to the rarefied atmosphere problem (OR Tambo is a “hot and high” airport

    • Eastern runway is oriented 03R/21L and is 3,400m

    Expansion of OR Tambo (Performed in readiness of the 2010 FIFA World Cup)

    • Construction of a new central passenger terminal building ($220 million)

    • Reconfiguration and upgrade of the existing international terminal building

    • Construction of additional structural car parking

    • Additional fuel tanks

    • Widening of runway and taxiway shoulders in order to accommodate the Airbus A380

    • The total cost of the expansion was estimated to be $497million

    The Aerotropolis Initiative

    • ACSA plans to develop airports in South Africa with the long-term strategic plan taking its cue from current urban design thinking around a new kind of urban form – the aerotropolis, or airport city

    • At OR Tambo, plans include development of the midfield are by constructing an X-shaped satellite as well as a possible construction of a third and fourth runway


    • Is there a justification for investing in new airports in Africa?

    • Looking at traffic per airport, there is no current need of new airports, but rather the need to optimize the existing facilities

    • Capacity constraints show up on taxiways, aprons and jet ways

    Conclusion Cont.

    • Although capacity expansion is warranted in some African airports, the focus of improving the industry should be on the following:

      • allowing more participation from the private sector (both in airlines and airports

      • improvement and installation of air traffic control surveillance and communications systems, and weather dissemination systems

      • implementation of a proper legal framework and oversight

      • improvement of safety and environmental standards

      • continued liberalization

      • implementation of a proper data collection system in order to better understand the industry

    Questions & Comments

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