Story by John Nhandara
THE multi-million United States dollar Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport Expansion Project is set to be completed by June this year.
The government’s appetite for revamping the country’s aviation sector is well on course, with the US$ 153 million expansion of the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport testimony to renewed interest in upgrading local airports.
The contractor at RGMI airport is now working on the installation of passenger handling equipment after notable progress was made in the extension of the new international terminal building, extension of the apron area and runways as well as installation of the airfield ground lighting system.
“We are approaching the tail end of the project. The superstructure is now up. We are left with the installation of passenger processing equipment such as aero bridges because currently, we have three old ones. We are expecting four new aerobridges.
“We are installing passenger lifts, flight information display equipment and surveillance systems. We have completed the installation of escalators,” said Tawanda Gusha, Airports Company of Zimbabwe CEO.
The project has enticed travellers and tourists who are convinced that it will enhance travelling convenience for the public.
The Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo International Airport, Charles Prince Airport and Kariba Airport are also earmarked for rehabilitation and modernisation to meet international standards.
“We are pleased to be part of the RGMI airport project but going forward we want to ensure all our airports match international standards. So we are also modernising airports in Kariba and Bulawayo this year,” said Dr James Tsabora, ACZ board member.
Meanwhile, rehabilitation of existing infrastructure at the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport is expected to commence once the ongoing expansion project is complete.
After its completion, the airport will have an annual handling capacity of six million passengers, up from an average of 2.5 million passengers.