Reuters Africa is reporting that a Chinese firm has been awarded a substantial contract worth $1.2 billion to build a new airport in the Sudanese capital Khartoum. The Chinese firm is a subsidiary of China Communications Construction Company which is a state-owned enterprise. The airport will consist of a runway long enough to handle the world’s largest commercial plane, the Airbus A380, a passenger terminal, hangar, control tower, and other facilities.
Currently only 12 foreign airlines fly to Sudan mostly due to an American embargo on the country. Sudan has a very poor safety record and as a result, the European Union has barred all Sudanese flights from flying to the EU bloc.
The BBC reported that the US has hinted at removing their current sanctions if Sudan allows a peaceful secession of Southern Sudan which could in turn lead to an increase in air travel to the country. Last month a referendum was passed with 99% of the vote for the secession and creation of an independent Southern Sudan.