The Ethiopian Airports Enterprise (EAE) has awarded a ETB571.7m ($28.89m) contract to local construction company Afro-Tsion Construction to build a new airport in Jinka.

State-owned consulting firm Transport Construction Design Enterprise (TCDE) has been selected as the consultant for construction of the new airport, which will be located 587km south of Addis Abeba.

"EAE plans to open a total of 21 airports across the nation by the end of 2014-15 fiscal year, as part of its growth and transformation plan."

Ethiopian Airports Enterprise communication affairs office head Wondeme Teklu was quoted as saying that the construction will only include the landing part of the airport, which will be finalised within two and a half years.

According to EAE, the airport will be built over a three million square metre plot of land.

The landing area will be 2.5km-long and will be able to accomodate Boeing 737 aircraft.

The new passenger terminal will have a capacity to handle 178 passengers at a time.

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By GlobalData

Jinka has been selected due to factors such as economic growth and the high tourist flow towards the city.

EAE plans to open a total of 21 airports across the nation by the end of 2014-15 fiscal year, as part of its growth and transformation plan.

"We floated a tender for the construction of the Hawassa and Robe Airports," Teklu said.

"As for the construction of the Hawassa, Robe, Semera and Jinka passenger terminals, we will auction tenders soon."