By John Nhandara
ZIMBABWE and China are working together on a capacity building initiative and cooperation in the civil aviation sector.
This comes as the country is upgrading its aviation industry to improve traffic control, ground support equipment, air traffic management and secondary radar surveillance.
The partnership between the two countries in the aviation industry has been set in motion through a 20-day capacity building seminar underway in Harare.
“We need to remain up to date in term of activities we must undertake at international level in terms safety and security of our airspace. We have upgraded our airports. China facilitated a loan for RGMI expansion due for completion in 2023. A number of airlines are now looking for us because of the standards we have set, said Theodius Chinyanga, Permanent Secretary-Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development.
Meanwhile, Airports Company of Zimbabwe Chief Executive Officer Mr Tawanda Gusha took the opportunity to give an update on the ongoing Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport upgrading project in which AVIC is also a partner.
“We have done significant work on the superstructure and the contractor is finishing work in the interior building such as installation of electrical mechanical equipment. We are waiting for passenger facilitation equipment and aircraft equipment that we have ordered. So basically we are at 75 percent complete,” he said.
AVIC International is one of the largest aircraft manufacturers in the world, supplying more than 130 aircraft to over thirty countries including Nepal, Indonesia, Zimbabwe, Cameroon and Brazil.
Their engagement with Zimbabwe’s aviation authorities is also meant to enhance capabilities of airline safety management and air traffic control.