Photo Essay - Bole Airport 

MediaETHIOPIA - May 2002


Few constructions in the country have attracted as much anticipation as the New Bole Airport Terminal and the Ring Road. Never mind the Ring Road as the Chinese company which is the main contractor has now said the final leg of the road between Bole and Meganagna will not be ready for another 18 months. But still, the Kaliti-Jimma Ber segment which was opened few months ago is a pleasure to drive on. The best time we found out was in early dusk or early morning when the pedestrians are more leisurely and won't step on your way. 

However, today our focus is the new airport which should have been opened way back in December 2001. The main contractor-a Kuwaiti company is paying fines as we speak due to the delay. No firm date for its much anticipated opening yet. But judging from the final details, we at MediaETHIOPIA predict that the new terminal will be operational by the New Year - September 11, 2002. By the way, isn't it sad that our beloved Ethiopian New Year day will be remembered forever for an infamous act? 

Anyway, Just a few weeks ago, we had gathered for our monthly photo essay meeting at our favorite bar on Bole Road when one of the editors said that no one is waiting eagerly for the opening of the new airport more than the PM himself. The PM has been known, for more than 10 years now, to have traveled in no other part of town except his residence and office in the Arat Kilo area to the airport. Even his much anticipated showing at the friendly soccer match between his ministers and capitalists didn't materialize. This rumor along with another rumor about the PM disliking anything that has to do with ports - be it sea (did someone say Assab? It must be the EDP folks!) or air promoted our assignment to Bole.

The first thing you will notice is that the airport building is made of steel and glass. Folks, we just don't produce structural steel and glass in the country and all this stuff must have been imported. The interior space is incredibly huge with ceilings in the middle going as much as the whole building height. This suggests that for the first time in, what 30 years, relatives of passengers could actually go in the terminal. This will be a huge relief for all including the beggars and pan-handlers who can have the outside area by themselves. Another beauty is the now finished access road and the road signals. Even the font is cool- never used before anywhere. Well, we all look forward to the opening of this building that should usher the era of Addis Ababa's supremacy as the aviation capital of Africa. Give the people at Civil Aviation the credit! And remember the new old-man at the palace was once the boss of Eth. Civil Aviation. He may want his credit too. 

Photos show the terminal building and access roads to it. Special thanks goes to the PhotoLatitude for Pictures 1 and 2. 

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Copyright @2002MediaEthiopia [SKK]. Photos 1 and 2 at left column are courtesy of PHOTOLATITUDE and LOUIS GUINAMARD.