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Sunday, July 14, 2024

Refurbishment and upgrading of airports progressing well

Story by Tichaona Kureva

The Airports Company of Zimbabwe (ACZ) is taking a holistic approach in its drive to upgrade the country’s airports.

Airports Company of Zimbabwe Chief Executive Officer, Mr Tawanda Gusha revealed in an interview with ZBC News, that relocation of Kariba Airport is imminent, while works on other airports are progressing well.

“We have plans to relocate Kariba airport to a site which already has been identified. The work this year will be on feasibility studies including Mutare Airport as well as Beitbridge Airport. We have called for the expression of interest for the construction of the upliftment of a catering facility at Victoria Falls International Airport. When we implemented the Victoria Falls International Airport, this was not part of the plan because of budgetary constraints.

“There is also a tender for the development of master plans for our three airports that is Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport, JM Nkomo International Airport and Victoria Falls International Airport. The master plans will guide us in airport infrastructure development. We are also mindful that we have to work on other airports as well, particularly the runway and the fire station at JM Nkomo International Airport,” he said.

Mr Gusha also gave an update on the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport expansion project which is expected to be complete by mid-year.

“Robert Mugabe International Airport is now at 85 percent completion. We are now awaiting the arrival of additional equipment such as passenger facilitation equipment, which is the baggage handling system and passenger aero-bridges that links the terminal building to the aircraft. The bulk of the mechanical and electrical equipment has already been installed and is currently undergoing testing including the air conditioning system. We are on course to complete that project around May, with commissioning set for June 2023. We have also completed the runway rehabilitation works,’’ he added.

Board of Airlines of Zimbabwe pledged to play its role in bringing more airlines into Zimbabwe to complement the ongoing works at the country’s airports.

Board of Airlines of Zimbabwe Vice Chairperson Ms Vivian Ruwuya ‘‘We are there to support and give information to airlines that will be interested in coming into Zimbabwe and as they do their due diligence, as they want to understand how they do business in Zimbabwe. So we do encourage and give much information as possible to ensure that we are promoting and growing Zimbabwe’s travel industry as a whole.’’

The Second Republic is on a spirited drive to modernise critical infrastructure in the country, including airports, roads and border posts, in line with the objectives of the National Development Strategy One and Vision 2030.

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