Speaking at the end of João Lourenço's visit to the project, Transport Minister Ricardo D'Abreu informed that the transfer of services will begin in the second half of 2023.
"It is a complex procedure and, obviously, your work will start in the middle of next year or the beginning of next year, to allow time from the point of view of organizing the airlines themselves at airport level, whether in terms of schedules, either in terms of physical working conditions", said the official, quoted in a note from CIPRA, which VerAngola had access to.
Ricardo D'Abreu also referred that the contract for the new airport is entering the finishing phase, "with some equipment remaining that needs to be completed".
He also said that they are convinced that from April or May 2023 they will already have people working full time at the airport: "We are convinced that from April, May, next year we will already be able to have people working full time here, already we are going to have another organization and another completion of this whole project, until we start passenger flights at the end of 2023".
He also mentioned the certification process, ensuring that "it runs without constraints and that by the end of next year it will be completed".
"Things are, fortunately, going well and we will continue to walk, to work, with commitment, dedication and a lot of commitment", he added.
According to the note, regarding services connected to the airport, such as hotels and restaurants, he ensured that the works "go well and should be operational at the time of activation and operation".
"Then, we have another project here that we are also promoting, which is the Icolo e Bengo Airport City, which we are convinced will be the great Smart City of our country", said the holder of the Transport portfolio, adding that the Government wants "greater involvement of the private sector in the provision of airport services".
He also said that they are "creating the facilitation conditions for the private sector to occupy that space in an orderly, organized and sustainable way", to have "a modern airport" and that "makes everyone proud".
Ricardo D'Abreu also said that "the anarchic constructions around the airport perimeter have stopped" and announced "the construction of a neighbourhood, called Projecto N'golome, to accommodate vulnerable populations".
"We are also building schools, a market for the population, a point of sale, to guarantee some sustainability for these families", said Ricardo D'Abreu.
According to a note, the new airport "will enter into full operation in December 2023".
More revenue and international visibility with new Luanda airport
In turn, the President of the Republic considered that with the start of the new airport, the country will gain more revenue and "international visibility".
"In general, more revenue will enter the State coffers. Therefore, the country will gain in terms of revenue, but also in terms of international visibility", said João Lourenço, speaking at the end of his visit to the works.
According to another note from CIPRA, to which VerAngola had access, during the visit the head of state toured the different areas of the new airport and "received guarantees about the completion date".
"At the end of this visit, we are more assured that we will effectively have the New Luanda International Airport 'Dr. António Agostinho Neto', ready in 2023", said João Lourenço, quoted in the note.
He also referred that the Government is working to "not only conclude the physical works", but also to manage "to match the conclusion of the works with the certificates that are necessary for the airport to operate".
"We are working, not only to complete the physical works, but also to match the completion of the works with the certificates that are necessary for the airport to operate. Therefore, I am referring to the certificates from the competent institutions, in this case ICAL. Therefore, we are working in this direction. I believe that at the time of the inauguration we will be qualified to operate this important airport", he said.
He also took the opportunity to mention that the accesses to the airport are assumed to be a concern of the Government, having left "very precise" recommendations to those responsible for the fields of construction and transport for them to be completed.
"The volume of passengers will be very large and with the current accesses, we will certainly create great constraints and that is not what we want", he said, guaranteeing that the Executive is dealing with accesses, road and rail, to simplify the passengers' lives.
Occupying an area of 1,324 hectares, the "Dr. António Agostinho Neto" airport has the capacity to accommodate 15 million passengers per year and 50 thousand tons of goods annually.