Kanombe International Airport, the national airport has recorded a 66 percent rise in flights handled per week, from 60 last year to 100 flights this year.
The increase, according to the Rwanda Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), is a result of a rebound in economy activity.
In an exclusive interview with Business Times yesterday, Richard Masozera the Director General of CAA said that Rwanda’s aviation industry is experiencing a growth in traffic volumes and that the trend is likely to continue throughout next year.
“We are benefiting from an improved national economy and also a recovery from the Global Financial Crisis,” Masozera said.
According to the official, CAA is targeting about 300,000 passengers by the end of this year.
“With the entrance of KLM, we remain well positioned to achieve our target of 20 percent growth,” he said.
Non scheduled flights increased with more VIP private jets coming in the country and cargo for ICT equipment that are consumed by the Rwandan economy.
“The figures are not isolated but in folds on improved services, tourism, improved banking sector and ICT,” he said, adding that government has received requests from private airline operators whose operations are being examined.
Countries that have approached Rwanda Development Board to use Kanombe International Airport for private airlines include Kenya, Democratic Republic of Congo and Dubai.
In a similar move to attract more airlines operating in the country, the CAA is also revising Bilateral Air service Agreements (BASAs).
“We will amend or negotiate air service a fresh, and this means that once signed these countries will have the road open to operate their airlines in Rwanda,” he said.
The countries that are interested include Belgium, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Singapore and The Netherlands.
Masozera also identified the key challenge for aviation as keeping human resource updated with the right skills of the industry that is growing quickly with dynamic technology and limited resources for capacity building.