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Sudan to build new airport at cost of 530 million dollars

5/16/2005 9:49am

KHARTOUM, May 15 (AFP) -- Sudan is to build a new international airport costing 530 million dollars at a site some 45 kilometres (30 miles) southwest of Omdurman, near Khartoum, the official news agency SUNA reported Sunday.

Aviation Minister Ali Tamim Fertak, quoted by SUNA, said the facility would cover an area of 58km².

Work on the first phase of the three-phase project based on designs by a German company will start in early 2006 with the construction of two runways, two passenger terminals, service utilities and administrative offices.

The first phase is due to be completed in three years after which the new airport will begin operations and Khartoum's existing facility will close, said the aviation minister.

He said the airport was designed to handle eight million passengers a year and that several infrastructure projects around the airport, including roads and bridges, would be built to facilitate traffic.

A committee headed by State Finance Minister Ahmed al-Majzoub will study Arab and international offers to finance the airport project, he said.

Fertak also said that the national carrier Sudan Airways had concluded an $82m contract for the purchase of six Antonov planes from the Ukraine.

Ukraine will also establish an aircraft maintenance centre at Khartoum airport at a cost of $8.8m and run training courses for pilots, technicians and stewards, said the aviation minister.

He said the planes, centre and courses would cost $102m to be financed by the Arab Investment Bank of Bahrain, with Sudan Airways providing the rest.

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