On June 17th , 2022, the first flight test and naming unveiling ceremony of civil aviation passenger aircraft at New Luanda International Airport in Angola came to a successful conclusion.The new airport is named after the first President of the Republic of Angola: Dr. António Agostinho Neto International Airport, symbolizing the endless memory and high respect of the Angolan people for their national hero. Angolan government officials, including Minister of State and Director of the Presidential Civil Office, Minister of Transport, Minister of Construction, Governor of Luanda, Air Force commander-in-chief, and widow of the President António Agostinho Neto attended the event.
FIG.1:A bust bronze statue of the President António Agostinho Neto in the square in front of the new airport terminal
Dr. António Agostinho Neto International Airport is under construction by AVIC-KDN Airport Engineering Co., LTD., and is scheduled for completion and delivery in June 2023.
FIG.2:Activity site (second from right: the widow of President António Agostinho Neto)
At 13:05, a Boeing 777-300 operated by Angola Airlines (TAAG) landed smoothly on runway 4F, the first flight test was witnessed by more than 1,200 people, including representatives of the Angolan Government, the widow of President António Agostinho Neto, members of the multi-sectoral committee, the diplomatic corps, Air Force officers, the project management team of the Ministry of Transport, representatives of the Angolan Airports Management Company (SGA), the Angolan Air Traffic Control Company (ENNA), the Angolan Airlines Company (TAAG), representatives of the Chinese contractor, and the President of the Angolan Government, members of the António Agostinho Neto Foundation and members of the Memorial Hall, as well as Angolan entrepreneurs, scholars and student representatives, marking the completion of a major node in the construction of the airport, which is of great significance for the opening of Dr. António Agostinho Neto International Airport.
FIG.3: Safe landing of Boeing-77 on runway 4F
To celebrate this historic moment, the Angolan Air Force of organized performances such as low-altitude ground-contact flight of Su-30 fighter jets, contrails flying of the Chinese-made K-8 training aircfaft formation, helicopter echelon flight and parachuting performance.
FIG.4: Su-30 Ground-contact Flying Show
FIG.5: Contrails flying of the Chinese-made K-8 training aircraft formation
FIG.6: Angolan Air Force parachuting performance
Finally, the parties received the crew members and held a reception and other activities in the B corridor of the new airport terminal. The Minister of State and Director of the Presidential Civil Office as well as the Minister of Transport made speeches respectively, expressing their gratitude to the Chinese financing institutions that gave financial support to the project, fully affirming the work and overall management of AVIC-KDN Airport Engineering Co., LTD and highly appraise the construction progress and quality of the project. Meanwhile, they put forward new requirements and hopes for the successful completion and operation of the new airport. “Through the test flight, we will immediately begin the certification process for the Dr. António Agostinho Neto International Airport, which will last until the end of 2023, till then the airport will be fully operational”, said the Minister of Transport.
FIG.7: Speech-delivery by the Minister of Transport
As the project contractor, AVIC-KDN Airport Engineering Co., Ltd. will continue to overcome the unfavorable factors such as the COVID-19 pandemic, comprehensively promote the project progress, accelerate the pace of project construction, and strive for early and high-quality completion, so that Dr. António Agostinho Neto International Airport will be put into operation as soon as possible to benefit the people of Angola. Upon completion, the airport will play an important role as a hub airport in Southwest Africa and further contribute to strengthening and consolidating the friendly Sino-Angola relationship. （script by Jia Chunmao,photo by Jia Chunmao and translation proof-reading by Tang Zonghuan）