Gambia seals US$31.9M for Airport Improvement Project

By IAfrica
In Gambia
Aug 19th, 2014
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The Gambia Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), under the Ministry of Transport, Works and Infrastructure on Saturday signed a US$31M contract with AREZKI, a Gambian based construction company; and Greenline, a Kuwati company, for the implementation of phase II of Airport Improvement Project.

The ceremony, held at the offices of GCAA in Yundum, was presided over by the Transport, Works and Infrastructure minister, Balla Garba Jahumpa.

This is meant to be continuation from the first phase of the Banjul International Airport Project, which has the overall objective of achieving the airport master plan for 2020. The overall objective of the said Master Plan, according to officials, is to ensure that Banjul International Airport has the capacity to handle the forecasted traffic by 2020 both in terms of space requirements, safety, security and convenience of traveling passengers.

The minister, in his remarks at the signing ceremony, stressed that in fulfilling these objectives, standards and recommended practice, as outlined by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), must be fulfilled.

“The contract value for the project is US$ 31,984,691.36 and the contract will be executed within 18 months. The contract is a joint venture between AREZKI and Greenline and the consultant of the project is Netherlands Airports Consultant (NACO),” he affirmed.

The minister seized the opportunity to underscore that President Jammeh has been very consistent with his development efforts since the advent of the July 22nd Revolution. He recalled: “When the foundation stone of the airport project was laid in 1997, three years after the Revolution, skeptics were doubtful as to whether the airport project will become a reality. But today he has proven all of them wrong”.

Minister Jahumpa thanked the GCAA management and staff and the airport authorities for their commitment and hard work towards the Airport Improvement Project Phase II.

The deputy director general of GCAA, Catherine Nying, at the signing, acknowledged that the government of The Gambia under the leadership of President Jammeh has strong support and consideration to the airport infrastructure. 

She said the construction of the new terminal in 1997 at the tune of US$10M has greatly transformed and standardised the airport, resulting into increased traffic since its commissioning. “Banjul International Airport is rated highly in terms of safety and security,” she said.

Nying expressed hope that the government of The Gambia will continue to support the airport authorities to ensure that the airport becomes hub for sub-regional and international destinations.

“In realising these objectives, two major phases are completed; namely the fast track and phase I. The components in these two phases include: upgrading of the internal perimeter fence; upgrading of the main road to dual carriage way with traffic lighting; upgrading of the aeronautical facilities such as DVOR, DME, ILS, and NDB and upgrading of the secondary power supply with additional 640KWA; overlay of the entire runway and upgrading of the airfield ground lighting system,” she further explained.

The GCAA deputy DG informed that the recruitment of the contractor for the component of the Airport Improvement Project Phase II was done through international competitive bidding in accordance with the requirements of the funding agencies. 

“The components of this project will include: the rehabilitation and expansion of the parking apron, as well as the construction of two new taxiways, upgrading of the instrument landing system, construction of a new fire and rescue station, and structural assessment and rehabilitation of new terminal building and control tower”, she informed.

Nying said it is anticipated that once this project is completed, it will provide the necessary support and infrastructure to handle the forecasted traffic. This, she added, will further boost the country’s preparation to host the Islamic Organisation Corporation proposed conference to be held in The Gambia in 2017. She seized the opportunity to thank the Ministry of Finance for the support.

The contractor, Ali Arezki, thanked the government of The Gambia for awarding his company the contract and assured that the agreement will be respected. He also promised that the deadline of the contract will be met and the quality of work will be up to standard.

The project manager of the Phase II, Kabiro Jammeh, later took the authorities on a site visit of the project.

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