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Gabon: Revamped to 73.7 billion, Port-Gentil airport nonetheless not “worldwide” | Gabonreview.com

An excessive amount of speak! What’s the contribution of Ali Bongo Ondimba Worldwide Airport in Port-Gentil to the native financial system? Inaugurated in 2016, after greater than 5 years of labor invoiced at 73.7 billion CFA francs, the infrastructure is worldwide solely in title. Whereas nothing stands in the best way of plane touchdown at Port-Gentil (freight and worldwide passengers), Libreville airport continues to monopolize all air flows, consequently complicating the price of dwelling within the financial capital.

© DR

Everyone seems to be freaking out at this time. Extremely publicized guarantees haven’t been stored. However we at all times do not forget that the restore and lengthening of the runway as a way to accommodate long-haul flights, the modernization of kit and the development of a brand new terminal in Port-Gentil had been welcomed, there are a number of years, by the populations of Ogooué-Maritime and the oil corporations. However, six years after its opening to worldwide and home air visitors, six years after its inauguration by the Head of State Ali Bongo Ondimba, the worldwide airport that bears his title has nonetheless not stored its promise. . It’s about to be categorized “white elephant“.

Port-Gentil airport on the time of its commissioning. © Virginie Tennanyou

Official Blah

After the inaugural declarations, freight and passengers from overseas proceed to move by way of Libreville earlier than being despatched to the financial capital. The speeches or the official blabla, on June 17, 2016 throughout its inauguration, promised a million passengers every year; facilitating the switch of specialists working within the oil sector to Port-Gentil, Gamba and different websites on the oil coast; the chance for oil tankers to make direct Europe – Port-Gentil flights with out going by way of Libreville, and the identical for gear and cargo destined for Port-Gentil. Supposed, in any case, to obtain long-haul flights from throughout Africa, Europe, the Center East, South America, the Ali Bongo Ondimba worldwide airport doesn’t present something that had been introduced.

The state of affairs is all of the extra absurd since, when it was put into service, Gabon had handed over its administration and that of its different nationwide, native or home airports to the Company for the Security of Air Navigation in Africa and to Madagascar (Asecna). Which presumes that Ali Bongo Ondimba Worldwide Airport is as much as the requirements of its declare. It meets all security standards and necessities.

A number of ministers who’re generally younger and imagined to be dynamic

A supply from Asecna stubbornly maintains that “nothing prevents jumbo jets or worldwide flights from touchdown in Port-Gentil“. It’s due to this fact stunning that a number of years after the large funding, and whereas a number of Ministers of Transport, generally younger and imagined to be dynamic, supervised the federal government division in cost, Port-Gentil airport has not worldwide than the title.

It’s the solely oil airport within the Gulf of Guinea that doesn’t obtain worldwide arrivals. What will increase the freight, charges or prices; as a result of every part that occurs by aircraft shouldfirst transit by way of Libreville earlier than being transported to Port-Gentil», factors out an oil engineer dwelling in Port-Gentil. One other technician from Assala Vitality laments that “at at the present time, town is stricken. However this example essentially has an influence on the price of dwelling right here“.

Tall its visitors should endure a break in load in Libreville»

For him, as for a lot of inhabitants of the oil metropolis, workers and oil corporations, opening Port-Gentil airport “internationally would provide a bit of extra influence for the populations, but in addition for companies“. Even higher, it’s going to get monetary savings for corporations based mostly within the nation’s second metropolis and create new jobs.

The demand for freight and passengers stays fixed within the province of Ogooué-Maritime. However, all its visitors should endure a break in load in Libreville earlier than its last vacation spot. This will increase prices and, finally, contributes to inflation, shortages and vital delays for the oil trade and its subcontractors.“, Can we learn in a leaked letter, addressed to the supervisory ministry with a view to arresting him. The letter additional states that:the amount of freight to Port-Gentil represents a quantity of roughly 130 tonnes monthly. Massive quantity components being transported by boat for lack of enormous capability plane“.

Solely oil airport of its type within the Gulf of Guinea

In view of what, essentially, is a shortfall for the financial system of this metropolis, for the entire province and even for the nation, and particularly at a time when the best authorities are advocating the return of development and full employment , would it not not be applicable for the ministerial division in control of Transport to take a practical and lucid have a look at this airport, to assist cease the financial decline of Port-Gentil? With the strategy of an election yr, upgrading this airport can be of undoubted fruitfulness.

Few educated Port-Gentillais have forgotten the promise: the airport was imagined to accommodate corporations equivalent to Air France. And there are numerous who’re shocked and examine Port-Gentil to different oil cities equivalent to Pointe-Noire in Congo, Luanda in Angola or Ikeja within the State of Lagos in Nigeria… Cities which prosper particularly as a result of they obtain worldwide flights. However why not in Gabon, the place one of many native corporations nonetheless serves Pointe-Noire?

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