Malawi’s Kamuzu International Airport expansion works on track

Malawi’s Kamuzu International Airport expansion and rehabilitation works is on track. The airport is set to have new surveillance equipment since the previous one broke down in 2000.

The high cost of the surveillance equipment has made it difficult for replacement. In 2009 the surveillance did cost US$1.03m.

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The contractors

Overseeing the rehabilitation is the Japanese Marubeni Protechs a Japanese contractor. According to Takao Yamaguchi, the Chief Consultant for Marubeni Protechs, they intend to put in place secondary surveillance radar equipment and automatic dependence surveillance broadcast mode equipment.

“It was not so much of a problem in terms of any risks. The equipment we are provide under this project will enable the controller and other aircrafts aircrafts to see aircrafts in the vicinity. This will enhance separation and safety,” said Takao Yamaguchi.

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Project funding

However, the project is receiving financial boost from the governments of Japan and Malawi. The boost comes through Airport Development Limited (ADL) and Department of Civil Aviation (DCA).

Additionally, the project will have a new arrival wing, new departure wing and a new domestic terminal. The additional wing are currently under construction. However, the rehabilitation phase will also see the expansion and rehabilitation of the passenger terminal building.

“We intend to install X-ray scanner for checked and carry-on baggage, metal detector gate, portable metal detector, aerial work platform plus CCTV system which will also enhance the security of the terminal,” said Yamaguchi.

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Currently, the terminal is too congested due to its capacity. The terminal capacity is not capable to accommodate passengers from three aircrafts which arrive at the same time from South Africa, Kenya and Ethiopia.

Rodrick Chattaika, the Chief Executive Officer for ADL, says that, with the ongoing rehabilitation work the available space will double. Also the capacity to handle more aircrafts at KIA will increase.

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“This entails that we would now meet international standards in terms of safety and security while at the same time increasing the space that we can handle more passengers. The current space has limitations on the number of aircrafts it could handle and number of passengers.

“The expansion activities will also take place at the arrival hall. The hall design can accommodate more parking car cells. Furthermore, the immigration counters will undergo modernisation, as well as the check-in counters. Movement of passengers will happen faster thus reducing congestion,” he narrated.

Kamuzu International Airport origin

KIA was constructed 35 years ago and as such the building facilities at the airport have severely deteriorated and damaged, requiring major rehabilitation work.

In addition to this problem, due to the increasing number of passengers and the concentration of air traffic volume, the check-in counter, immigration, baggage claim area and other areas are extremely congested during peak times.


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