Blaise Diagne International Airport (AIBD) is a new international airport being built in Dakar, the capital city of Senegal.

The site is being developed on 4,500ha of land in Ndiass village, approximately 50km south-east of Dakar city. It will be owned by the Government of Senegal.

The airport’s construction initially began in April 2007. German company Fraport won a contract in 2007 to operate the airport, in collaboration with an international consortium, for a period of 25 years

However, Fraport withdrew the concession contract in 2015 following a halt in construction for several months, which was caused by a financial dispute between the Government of Senegal and construction contractor Saudi Bin Laden Group.

A consortium formed by Turkish firms Limak and Summa subsequently won a contract to complete the construction works under a subcontract from Saudi Bin Laden Group in April 2016.

The consortium also agreed to operate the airport for a 25-year period.

Work on the development was finally resumed in November 2016 and the airport is scheduled to be commissioned in December 2017.

Purpose of the new airport in Dakar

The new airport is intended to replace the old Léopold Sédar Senghor International Airport (AILSS) in Yoff town, Dakar.

AILSS handled approximately two million passengers in 2015 and features inadequate capacity to cater to the growing domestic and international air traffic requirements of the Dakar region.

Details of Blaise Diagne International Airport

Blaise Diagne International Airport is being developed two phases and will cost an estimated $560m.

Phase one of the project is expected to cover an area of 2,600ha.

The airport will feature a 42,000m² passenger terminal building with six gates and six remote stands. The terminal will have two levels, one for arrivals and the other for departures.

It will be able to accommodate up to three million passengers per year in the first phase, while the second phase will increase the site’s capacity to ten million per year by 2035.

AIBD will also be designed to handle 50,000t of cargo and 80,000 aircraft movements annually.

A 12,800m² cargo terminal building is being constructed to the south-west of the runway to accommodate freight, which will incorporate a number of storage areas, freezers, office facilities and electromechanical service areas.

An air traffic control tower and a technical facility will be located to the east of the passenger terminal, while a 4,600m² presidential pavilion will be added to the north side.

The airport will also feature a Hajj terminal, a parallel taxiway system, airport access routes, 60km of internal roads and various other support facilities.

A second passenger terminal building and an additional 3.5km-long, 75m-wide second runway are planned for development at a later date.

Apron and runways at Blaise Diagne airport

The airport will feature a single 3.5km-long, 75m-wide runway with accompanying traffic lanes.

The apron area is designed to house up to 50 aircraft, including 26 large aircraft such as Airbus A380 and 18 general aviation aircraft, as well as six small and medium sized aircraft such as Airbus A320.

A 9,350m² aircraft hangar will be built in order to house large aircraft for freight and cargo services.


The airport’s parking facilities will be designed to accommodate up to 820 vehicles, including 700 cars, 60 buses and 60 taxis.

Financing for Blaise Diagne International Airport

The AIBD project is funded via loans from a number of banks such as the African Development Bank Group (AfDB), which approved a loan of €70m ($82.14m) in December 2010.

The Islamic Development Bank has provided $117.3m for the development, while the West African Development Bank offered $30m funding.

Additionally, the Saudi Fund for Development has agreed to provide a loan of $100m and l’Agence Francaise du Développement has contributed $117.3m.

Canada’s ICF Bank and South Africa’s Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) have also supplied loan funding for the project.

“The Government of Senegal created Aéroport International Blaise Diagne to design, develop, build and finance the new international airport in February 2006.”

AfDB acted as co-arranger for AFD, BOAD, ICF and IDC, while the Islamic Development Bank acted as arranger for the three Islamic lenders.

The debt is due to be repaid using fees collected through an Airport Infrastructure Development Charge (RDIA).

Contractors involved with the new international airport in Dakar

The Government of Senegal created Aéroport International Blaise Diagne to design, develop, build and finance the new international airport in February 2006.

Saudi Bin Laden Group and design firm Dar Al-Handasah Turner-CDE were selected by the Government of Senegal to design and built the airport facility.

DP World won a contract to build a logistics free zone at the airport in October 2015. Burns & McDonnell was selected to design a variety of IT, data, communications and security systems for the airport.

UK-based company Areen was contracted to provide interior design and procurement services for the development.