ABIDJAN, IVORY COAST —
Ivory Coast's international airport in the commercial capital, Abidjan, will get a 40 billion CFA franc ($67 million) makeover to boost it as a regional hub, the chairman of the board of operator Aeria said Thursday.
The world's top cocoa grower has become one of Africa's rising stars since emerging from a 2011 civil war, and annual economic growth of around 9 percent is attracting a flood of foreign investment.
Felix Houphouet-Boigny International Airport expects 1.75 million passengers this year, up from a record 1.5 million last year, Aeria's Abdoulaye Coulibaly said.
"We are aiming to invest around 40 billion CFA francs over the next three years to offer quality service, because the number of passengers is increasing each year," he said, adding that the funds would go toward tarmac and terminal upgrades.
Coulibaly said Aeria was also preparing a 140 billion CFA franc project to build an extension to the terminal that would more than triple capacity to 8 million passengers per year by 2022. Work is expected to begin in two years, he said.
The U.S. Transportation Security Administration last year cleared Abidjan to host direct flights between the two countries, something Ivory Coast had been seeking for 15 years.