This is with reference to the article, “Experts tip on aviation industry investment”, published in The New Times of September 18, 2013.
In the above mentioned story, Roger Forneris, a French investor in the aviation sector, cautioned against making huge investments in the aviation sector. He is right. Aviation development requires massive investment.
The requirements include specialised infrastructure, skilled labour and advanced technological demands. If improperly done, without articulate projections, it directly puts much at stake.
But in Rwanda’s context the ongoing expansion of the national airline, as well as technological and infrastructural development are with realistic projections coupled with economic ambitions that span over decades. The current international and domestic passengers compared to 10 years ago, show a huge variation. The figures have more than doubled.
This year, passengers using the Kigali International Airport (KIA) are edging closer to 600, 000 yet they were 230,000 in 2007. With this evidence at hand, we need increased development in the aviation sector to match that pace of traffic.
The ongoing $17.8 million KIA upgrade will see the airport handle an estimated 1.5 million passengers a year as we progressively realise the need for the timely construction of the $700 million Bugesera International Airport. And feasibility studies are ongoing on other airports such as Gisenyi in the northwest and Kamembe in the southwest to provide them with the capacity to handle bigger aircrafts, ensure options for emergency landings in case of disasters and facilitate tourism.
I agree with Mr Forneris that massive investment in aviation should be done cautiously. The Government of Rwanda has been cautious with every decision it takes in this industry.
Ongoing aviation projects are justified by statistical projections and systematic economic ambitions.
Tonny Barigye, Public Relations Officer, Rwanda Civil Aviation Authority