Rwanda is building a new gateway – Bugesera International Airport – which is set to boost air cargo into and out of the African nation.
The airport will have modern cargo handling facilities, capacity to handle about 1.8m passengers annually, multiple commercial spaces, and include other facilities.
Work on the first phase of the new gateway is set to take about 27 months and be completed in December 2019 at a cost of about $400 million.
The new airport is located in southeastern Rwanda, in Bugesera District, near the town of Rilima, approximately 40 kilometres by road, south of Kigali International Airport.
Speaking at a groundbreaking ceremony, Rwanda’s President-elect Paul Kagame says it will support Rwanda’s socio-economic transformation, but also facilitate the economic integration of the East African Community and boost intra-Africa trade.
The new gateway will also serve to complement the growth of the national carrier RwandAir, which continues to expand. The national carrier of Rwanda was recently granted the seventh freedom rights by the Government of Benin.
RwandAir plans to position two Boeing 737s aircraft to Cotonou and begin operations in the near future from its new second hub.
Earlier this month, the governments of Benin and Rwanda signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to establish a joint venture airline owned by the two countries and based in Cotonou, Benin.
Plans are for it to commence its initial operations providing air transportation for passengers and goods between and to Abidjan, Brazzaville, Douala, Libreville, Bamako, Dakar and Conakry.