President Emmerson Mnangagwa is expected to officiate at the groundbreaking ceremony of the modernisation of Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport tomorrow. The project is being funded from a $153 million loan facility from China Eximbank.
Transport and Infrastructure Development director (Aviation and Rail) Mr Allowance Sango confirmed the development last week.
“Yes, we have a groundbreaking ceremony for the $153 million modernisation of the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport.
“The upgrade of the airport will be done under the $153 million loan from China Eximbank. Works to modernise the airport are going to be signified by the groundbreaking ceremony on Monday (tomorrow),” he said.
The $153 million loan agreement was signed on April 4 and subsequently ratified by Parliament.
It is believed that the loan has a seven-year grace period, an annual 2 percent interest rate, 0,25 percent commission fees and management fees pegged at the same rate.
It also has a 20-year tenure.
Government intends to transform Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport so that it regains its status as a regional and international hub.
Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe (CAAZ) director of airports Mr Tawanda Gusha told delegates during the commissioning of fastjet’s new route in Bulawayo that Government is determined to refresh all airports.
“I want to assure players in the aviation industry that the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe is committed to improving the aviation sector.
“We had done our part in upgrading our airports and we will continue to improve aviation infrastructure. Recently, we refurbished the Victoria Falls International Airport and many airlines are now flying there,” said Mr Gusha.
“We are going to be starting the refurbishment of the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport in the not-too-distant future, you will know about it if you continue watching this space,” he said.
On completion of the upgrade, the country’s main airport will handle six million passengers per year from the current 2,5 million travellers.
Through the upgrade, the car park will be transformed into a multi-storey facility, while modern airport bridges will be installed at new gates.
The runway will be expanded to allow for simultaneous landings.
A new radar system will also be deployed to improve technology, while moving walkways — a slow-moving conveyor mechanism that transports passengers across a horizontal or inclined plane over a short to medium distance — will also be installed.
Designs for the upgrade have since been completed and approved.
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