An Ogden-led consortium has been awarded a 20-year privatisation licence covering the international airports serving Santo Domingo, Puerto Plata, Samana and Barahona in the Dominican Republic. The consortium, which includes Vancouver Airport Services of Canada and Italian construction company Impregilo, says it will spend $400 million on improving the airports. Uganda has suspended plans to build a second international airport to serve its capital, Kampala. Aviation planners say it does not make commercial sense to develop a second airport because there is unexploited capacity at Entebbe International, 32km (17nm) north of the capital. Nairobi, Kenya, will retain its role as Entebbe's alternate. A second runway will be built at Entebbe to cater for growth by 2010. Current capacity usage is just over 16% of the existing runway. The old airport in Entebbe is already being developed for cargo and general aviation. Baltimore/Washington International achieved record passenger and cargo throughputs in 1998. Passenger numbers were up by 6.5%, compared with 1997, to just over 15 million, and freight rose by 18.8%, to 190.9 million kg (420.5 million lb). A new airport at Montichiari, Brescia, in northern Italy, has been opened formally after just seven months of work converting what was previously an Italian air force base. The airport, run by Verona airport operator Valerio Catulloh, has a 2,990m runway. London Luton Airport has become the UK's fastest-growing airport, with a 27.8% rise in passengers to 4.1 million last year. Growth has been even faster this year with a 39% increase in passenger traffic. Aeroports de Paris (ADP) and Belgium's Liege Airport have signed a a strategic alliance under which Liege Airport will be developed commercially, with the emphasis on improving freight and potential airline-TGV railway connections. ADP Management will take a 25% stake in the airport.

Source: Flight International