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Tunisia evolution in full swing

Posted 15 January 2019 · Add Comment

Tenders for a feasibility study into a new international airport for Tunis are expected to be launched soon, writes Vincent Chappard.

Tunisian Minister of Transport, Radhouane Ayara, recently announced the construction of a new international airport for an estimated cost of €690 million ($809m). It will cater for 10 million passengers by 2030.
With a brighter economic outlook and the country’s security situation improving, passenger traffic is on a steady increase. Plans for ‘open sky’ agreements make prospects for the segment even better.
“We are enjoying great momentum at most Tunisian airports and are confident regarding the evolution of air transport,” said Mohamed Walid Ben Ghachem, director of communication and public relations at the Tunisian Civil Aviation & Airports Authority (OACA).
OACA is a public body in charge of the management, development and operation of the country’s seven international airports – Tunis-Carthage, Djerba-Zarzis, Sfax-Thyna, Tozeur-Nefta, Tabarka-Ain Draham, Gafsa-Ksar and Gabès Matmata. It recorded a 13% increase in passenger traffic from January to May.
Tunis-Carthage International captures 80% of national traffic. According to forecasts, it is expected to accommodate around 6.5 million passengers this year.
However, it has been operating well over capacity for several years. The imminent start of modernisation works, as part of the 2016-2020 development strategy, should bring some relief.
“The extension of the terminal with an enlargement of the check-in areas and a new baggage sorting area will allow the airport to accommodate 7.5 million passengers by 2020/2021 and streamline the flow of passengers,” said Ghachem.
Upgrading of airstrips at Djerba and Gatsa airports are also part of the development strategy.
OACA banks on the know-how of its staff and training to acquire international expertise. Africa remains a potential market for Tunisia. The country also projects to develop its air freight.
 

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