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Angola eyes 2025 for the completion of a key new airport

The facility, at the northern city of Mbanza Kongo, is designed to encourage tourism to the nearby UNESCO World Heritage site.

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Less than 1 minute Minutes

Angolan transport minister Ricardo de Abreu announced last week that construction of the new airport at Mbanza Kongo, a key element in the development of cultural tourism to the northern province of Zaire, could be completed by 2025.

Chinese state-owned Sinohydro Corp began construction on the new US$150.6 million airport in 2022. Situated 34 kilometres outside the provincial capital Mbanza Kongo, the 12,100-square-metre site will include a 3,500-metre runway designed to handle a Boeing 777-300ER, one of the largest twin-engine airliners in commercial operation.

Intended to host both domestic and international connections, the new airport will be named after Nimi a Lukeni, founder of the Kingdom of Kongo. It occupied land now part of Angola, Gabon, the Republic of Congo, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo for more than 500 years before the Portuguese arrived in the 15th century.

[See more: Angola signs a new funding agreement for a UNESCO site]

The ancient kingdom’s historic capital was located at Mbanza Kongo and the surviving structures were inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2017. Abreu stressed that the new airport was essential to help fulfil UNESCO obligations, such as restoration and conservation work on the historic sites.

The city’s current airport is small and its location in the heart of the city makes expansion impossible. Abreu said it was therefore necessary to boost infrastructure to support historical and cultural tourism to the city. 

A federal management plan for the next four years proposes turning the municipality into a “research hub and tourist attraction” for national, regional and international visitors.

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