ED to officiate at airport groundbreaking ceremony

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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  • We Need Brains

    We have no viable airline or planes. Its like a gardener who has no car building a nice car garage at his one roomed house which is falling apart with hungry children inside.
    Ive been to many countries in Africa & our airport is far better as it is. Its definitely not a priority to spend $153 million on.
    Lets instead borrow money to fix the potholed roads, dirty water & broken hospitals first as a matter of urgency.
    Then we need to fill up the open trenches & clean up the CBD before we borrow huge sums of money to spruce up an airport.
    Its pointless for visitors to arrive at an extravagant airport only to end up driving on bad roads, jumping over trenches in the CBD, walking on the road because pavements are full of vendors & then drink dirty water.
    If you have never lived outside Zimbabwe, you may never realize just how terrible Harare looks like to someone who comes back after years away. You’re trying to build a durawall apa mumba muchirara pasi

    • Samugabe

      Makadzokerei. Dzokerai kwamanga muri Cde. Iwe ndiwe usina brain unofunga kuti airport inovakirwa kumhara ndege dzeAir Zimbabwe chete. Infrastructure development is key to our country’s development. Munhu akangwara anotanga kugadzira zvinhu zvakaoma ozopedzisira zvakareruka. Example yenyu yakatodhakwa because munhu unogona kurara pasi asi property yako iri secure, not the other way round. Dont criticise for the sake of critisizing.

      • Zodwa

        You sound very primitive.
        So you actually think spending $153 million on an airport which is already there & fucntional, is a priority whilst hospitals have no medicine & schools with under paid teachers?
        And who are you to stop another Zimbabwean from coming & going from his own country?
        Ndimi vanhu vanopfeka masutu kumba vana vachifa nenzara.

  • tinei ganyani

    This new dispensation is just doing wonders.Tinotenda nemabatiro arikuitwa basa naED tichitarisira zvakawanda after elections because ED has my vote this time