João Lourenço inaugurated this Friday the new airport, which will operate, in the first phase, only with cargo transport, with a capacity of 130 thousand tons per year expected, starting in February 2024 with domestic flights and in June of the same year with international flights.
Speaking to the press, the head of state said that the Government understands that "this large infrastructure should not be managed by the State".
According to the President, a provisional, transitional airport operator was appointed to initially manage the airport, with the State working to ensure that this happens in the shortest possible time.
"The Minister of Transport announced the opening of a public tender for the definitive, private operator. Obviously, within a few months – I hope well –, he will then take over the definitive management of this important infrastructure", he highlighted.
The head of State emphasized that, when management is taken over by the private operator, State expenses will be reduced considerably, and the moment will even come when the private manager will share revenues with the owner of the airport, which is the State.
"This airport will continue to be owned by the State, but managed by a competent private entity, which will transform this airport into a source of revenue. This airport was not built to represent more expenses, on the contrary, it is to generate revenue for those who manage it and revenues for the State", he stressed.
In his speech, the Minister of Transport, Ricardo de Abreu, said that, once the infrastructure has been inaugurated, work is needed for what is to come, as, he stressed, "an airport is not, in a dynamic economy and with a potential for growth and development, a finished project".
Ricardo de Abreu stated that Angola today has a strong and nationally and internationally recognized aviation sector.
"What we need is to consolidate and ensure that all those sectors that can take advantage of this venture do so without fear of capacity, efficiency, human and technological capacity, in order to be competitive in the context of African and global nations", he stated.
The head of the Transport portfolio declared that the international public tender to "identify the most suitable partner" will be launched, to ensure that the airport meets the best international standards and best management practices.
"Whether in terms of passengers who pass through here and visit us, or in terms of logistics through the movement of cargo to Angola, from Angola to the world, promoting our exports and the world to our country and to our continent", said the minister, admitting that there is a lot of work ahead to achieve these objectives.
Luanda International Airport "Dr. António Agostinho Neto", named after the first President of Angola, located in Bom Jesus, municipality of Icolo and Bengo, around 42 kilometers from the center of the city of Luanda, occupies an area of 1324 hectares, providing up an annual flow of 15 million passengers, of which 10 million are from abroad, with two double runways, with capacity for B747 and A380 type aircraft.
The infrastructure has 31 sleeves, of which 19 for international services and 11 for domestic services, nine conveyor belts for baggage storage, six of them for international flights, 26 migration counters, a car park for 1650 vehicles, space for stores, in an area of 1825 square meters, and rail access, with a 56-kilometer railway line, and an Express train.
The President announced this Friday that the construction of a new terminal and a new runway is being studied, to allow around 65 million passengers to travel through the airport annually.