Senegal opens new international airport with economic hopes

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DIASS, Senegal (AP) Senegal's new international airport is opening its runways as the West African country hopes to become a travel hub for the region.

Airport International Blaise-Diagne, which had faced more than 10 years of delays, is meant to anchor Senegal's economic and tech center.

The government is aiming for 5 million passengers in 2023 and 10 million in 2035.

The airport has had mixed reviews with its location of more than 50 kilometers (31 miles) from the capital, Dakar.

A connecting train service is still years from completion.

A number of cities in West Africa are competing to be the region's air hub including Lome, Togo, which is the base of operations for ASKY Airlines, and Abidjan, Ivory Coast.