Victoria Falls international Airport in Zimbabwe set for commissioning

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Victoria Falls international Airport set to be open

Victoria falls International Airport in Zimbabwe which has been under reconstruction is set to open in a month’s time after missing several deadlines,Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe (CAAZ)’s general manager David Chaota has said.

He said that the contractor was putting finishing touches on the $150 million Chinese-funded Victoria falls International Airport. He was speaking on the sideline of the ongoing Common Market for Eastern and South Africa (Comesa) meeting in Victoria Falls.

“Currently we are working on the last touches of the airport which was being face-lifted and the existing Come terminal. Come August it will be ready, this is the final deadline now,” he added The officials were addressing delegates from the Comesa member states who are attending the week-long meeting to the construction site.

Improved capacity

The expansion of the Airport started in early 2013. Once complete the $150 million project will improve the airport’s handling capacity from 500, 000 per year to 1, 5 million.

The officials added that the airport will also be able to handle wide-bodied aircraft, with CAAZ keen on developing it as a regional aviation hub.

China’s Exim Bank is funding expansion work through a concessionary loan facility while China Jiangsu is carrying out the construction work.

Expansion work has also been done on the existing runway, while the control tower, new fire station with a capacity for five fire engines, a water tower, car park, sewer ponds and water tank are already completed and in use.

The Zimbabwean government has been in the forefront in ensuring the transport sector is improves as they have been pumping more funds to the sector in assistance of Chinese Partners.

In a move that is seen as a deliberate effort to boost air transport in Africa, several countries have been expanding their airports. Kenya for instance got support from African Development Bank to construct a new terminal at Jomo Kenyatta airport.