Ethiopia has a long history of aviation and of airports, yet the Ethiopian Airports Enterprise (EAE), as it exists today, is one of the youngest organisations in the country.
It was a new phenomenon in the aviation history of the nation when it was formally established as an independent legal entity on 24th January 2003 by the Council of Ministers Regulation NQ 82/2003, being the first independent legal entity brought into existence to run the airport service delivery.
The EAE is a public enterprise mandated to provide quality airport infrastructure and services to its customers, with its own distinct mission, vision and core values:
Mission: EAE’s mission is to provide quality airport infrastructure and services to its customers.
Vision: By 2025, EAE’s vision is to be the leading airport service provider in Africa.
Core values: The EAE subscribes to the core values of: quality service; teamwork; continuous improvement; integrity; and customer focus.
Air transport lies within the exclusive jurisdiction of the federal government, so the management of the airport infrastructure and services throughout the country falls under the Ministry of Transport, and all the operations are carried out by EAE. It is also accountable to the board of management assigned by the Minister of Transport.
The EAE is responsible for 17 airports – four international and 13 domestic – with an 18th airport at Combolcha, in Amhara Region under construction. Administration of all airports is decentralised.
To manage its increasing portfolio of airports, the EAE has transformed its institutional structure and diversified its non-aeronautical revenue sources in order to provide the human and financial resources it needs. Its present structure is the result of recent developments that led to the reshaping of some organisations and the creation of new ones, with the objective of streamlining business practices whilst keeping them separate from regulatory functions. Currently the EAE is looking to enhance the provision of quality airport infrastructure with full facilities and services for its customers in all its airports.
Potential partners or alliances could play a role in the development of aeronautical and non-aeronautical services, safety and airport development activities. Especially at Addis Ababa Bole International airport, the EAE is looking for potential partners in developing the airport’s infrastructure so as to cope with the ever-increasing traffic the airport is attracting.
The greatest changes over the last five to six years are the development of quality airport infrastructure with full facilities and services. Changes have also been seen in the area of aircraft and passenger movement, which have accounted for a growth of about 20% annually.
In 2011, the Addis Ababa Bole International Airport served 4.5m passengers and 160,000t cargo traffic. The annual growth rate in passenger capacity exceeded 20%, while that of cargo capacity reached 30%. The airport’s operating capacity is currently handling rapid traffic growth.
In the last five years, the Addis Ababa Bole International Airport has had significant traffic growth of over 20% per year for passengers and 42.8% in cargo. This figure is expected to grow further with the introduction of a new and large fleet by Ethiopian Airlines, and increased number of destinations and frequency of flights. As a consequence, the airport is emerging as an important regional/African hub and it continues to attract other carriers.
The EAE has made great improvements particularly in the areas relating to the provision of quality airport infrastructure and services at the international and domestic airports. This has played a role in the dramatic growth of the aircraft and passenger movement. As a result, to date the EAE has received more than five international and continental awards, including most recently the gold medal at the 14th International Transport Award for business excellence – ‘the new millennium award’ – in recognition of its airline service, freight logistics, cargo service, international container terminal service and marine transport service.