Addis Ababa, the capital city of Ethiopia, is undergoing a development revolution. In common with much of Africa, Chinese-funded development is changing the city. Everywhere you look, the green and yellow hoardings show which blocks are being developed or are about to be so.
I last visited Addis four years ago in 2012, and the changes are clear. There is a new metro, run by Schenzen metro (and using their logo) opened in 2015, there is a new railway to Djibouti, and signs to a new Ethio-China Friendship Square in the heart of the city.
Things are changing – fast, and Ethiopia, with its excellent national airline, is a fascinating country to watch.
If you have ever driven around Heathrow Airport in London, you may have noticed that the road names have an interesting pattern.
Roads in the central area – such as Croydon Road, Cambourne Crescent all begin with ‘C’; roads near Terminal 5 – such as Walrus Road, Wayfarer Road all begin with ‘W’; roads near Terminal 4 – Stratford Road, Salisbury Road all begin with ‘S’, while roads to the north of the terminals all begin with ‘N’ and roads to the East all begin with ‘E’.
An obvious pattern when you see it – the reason being that Heathrow has five Rendezvous Points – RVPs – central, east, west, north, and south. If a plane were to come down on Wayfarer Road, the emergency services would immediately be sent to RVP West. You can see the importance of the RVP system in the following fascinating ATC video from the British Airways crash on runway 27L – and the air traffic controller declaring ‘the Rendezvous point is SOUTH’ just after the 1 minute mark.
You may have seen the green RVP (N/E/S/W/C) signs near UK airports. And that’s what they are for.