Conakry Gbessia airport expansion project will involve the construction of new passenger and freight terminals. Credit: Paris Aéroport photograph library.
The expansion project began in October 2020. Credit: Africa50 Infrastructure Fund.
The airport will have the capacity to handle 1.5 million passengers a year, upon completion. Credit: Joelguinea.

Conakry Gbessia International Airport (AICG), the main airport in the Republic of Guinea, is being expanded and modernised to increase its capacity and improve passenger service and safety.

The airport capacity will be tripled to handle more than 1.5 million passengers a year by 2031 from the current 550,000 passengers a year approximately. The freight handling capacity of the airport will also be quadrupled.

The airport is operated by Société de Gestion de l’Aéroport de Gbessia (SOGEAG) concessionaire, which is co-owned by the Government of Guinea (34%), Africa50 (33%) and Group Aéroports de Paris (ADP, 33%).

Africa50 is an infrastructure investment fund backed by the African Development Bank and African states. It provides financial expertise for the project and connects the Guinean government and private investors.

ADP is responsible for providing technical and operational assistance for the development of the project.

The companies signed a 25-year agreement to co-develop and finance the expansion and modernisation work of the airport, in February 2020.

Construction work on phase one of the project started in October 2020 with an estimated investment of €120m ($132.6m). The project is expected to be completed in 2023.

Conakry Gbessia airport modernisation and expansion project details

The project includes the construction of a new terminal spanning 20,000m² for both international and domestic passengers. A new freight terminal will be built spanning 1,800m². Other associated infrastructure such as taxiways, aprons, and parking area will also be developed.

A new power plant for the airport will be developed in 840m², while new administrative headquarters and service building will be built in 1,500m² and 430m² respectively.

The airport will be improved with new fire safety and rescue service building, wastewater treatment plant, an incineration unit, new Presidential Pavilion and outbuildings, and new roads.

The road improvements will provide better access from the city of Conakry, as well as reduce congestion on the Fidel Castro highway to the airport. Car parking, aircraft processing areas and service routes will be extended to improve the accessibility.

The airport’s modernisation will enable it to secure the United Nation’s International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) certification.

Airside and landside infrastructure at Gbessia airport

The new airside infrastructure works include building a new presidential parking area (code E), widening BI traffic lane and creating new B3 traffic lane to provide access to the presidential parking area. New service routes will be created and B2 traffic lane will be renovated.

Landside infrastructure work will comprise the development of VIP access route, the access road to the Presidential Pavilion, and other new annexe buildings. Access routes to freight, employee parking and other car parking areas will also be developed.

Contractors involved

Orrick was selected for providing advisory services to Africa50 and ADP for the development and financing of the project.

Existing details of Conakry Gbessia airport

Built in 1945, the Conakry Gbessia airport is located 13km from the G’Bessia city centre. The airport accommodates all types of aircraft including small carrier planes and medium aircraft to large aircraft such as B747 to B400.

The departure area features duty-free shops offering snack bars and refreshments. The boarding lounge has paid Wi-Fi facility.