Underway since 2018, the plan to transform Senegal into West Africa's leading air hub sees the gradual modernization of the various regional airports.
The technical and commercial operation of Saint-Louis airport, christened "Ousmane Masseck Ndiaye", was launched yesterday December 7 with a flight from Air Sénégal, the national airline.
The entire renovation of this airport, as part of the Senegal Airports Reconstruction Program (PRAS), cost 23 billion FCFA, and will be managed by AIBD SA. The new facilities cover some 2,170 m2, with a runway 2,500 m long and 45 m wide. They also include a ground support system and air navigation aids.
In addition to increasing the region's accessibility, modernizing the airport should help revitalize tourism activities and boost mining potential.
For Antoine Mbengue, Senegal's Minister of Air Transport, the airport will enable the inhabitants of this part of the country to reconnect with its "aeronautical tradition", Saint-Louis having welcomed its first direct flight in 1927.
"In addition to agricultural activities, tourism and services, it will become a real lever for development with the exploitation of oil and gas resources, in particular the natural gas field known as Grande Tortue-Ahmeyim, off the coast of Senegal and Mauritania," he points out.