Assiut gets new landmark
After months of delay, Middle Egypt's governorate of Assiut has got a new terminal building, expanding the airport capacity to one million and quarter a year, Amirah Ibrahim reports
Another airport to the south has been expanded and opened to serve domestic and international flights through the Middle Egypt. On Monday, Aviation Minister Lotfi Kamal accompanied by top aviation aids inaugurated the new terminal building at Assiut airport. The new facility is part of an upgrade project of the airport which included a number of new constructions.
"Upgrading Assiut airport comes within the expansion plan of Egyptian airports being implemented over the past decade," explained Kamal. "Assiut airport serves the inhabitants of many governorates in the middle of Egypt, and is an important launching point for Egyptian labour working in Arab countries. We are optimistic about the potentials of this airport after adding the new facility," Kamal added.
The LE223 million upgrade project included constructing a new terminal building, an apron control, park area, store houses, water and electricity units and hostel for the airport technicians.
"The new building is constructed over 20,000 square metres and consists of two halls: one for arrival and the other for departures," explained Hasan Rashed, chairman of the Holding company of airports. "It has been provided with eight immigration counters and six additional double counters in departure and arrival halls." The capacity of the terminal is 800 passengers per hour which takes the current airport capacity to one million and quarter a year.
A 35 metre apron control has been constructed in order to improve navigation systems. Besides, a hostel to accommodate 60 employees has been constructed within the airport zone.
Five Egyptian and Arab airlines are operating at present from Assiut airport in addition to the national carrier. Saudi NAS airlines, UAE Al-Arabia airlines, Kuwaiti Al-Jazeera, Egyptian Al-Masrya and Air Cairo. All are low cost carriers except Air Cairo which is a charter airline.
"The national carrier EgyptAir maintains a strong existence around all domestic destinations to the south or north," commented Hussein Massoud, EgyptAir chairman.
"Our operational schedules are set as a regular airline and we are committed to serve our people any where, being a state-owned airline," Massoud added. He indicated that the carrier was operating a domestic service between Cairo and Assiut with three flights weekly and an international service between Assiut and Kuwait three times a week.
"The new facility and the expansion boost the business of air transport and help implement the developing plans of the area," he added. The aviation minister expressed the belief that the current political situation should not stop upgrading and modernising plans of aviation projects. He warned that such an attitude if applied in air transport would take the whole industry to a critical situation.