Zimbabwean Government Committed to Modernizing Airport Infrastructure to Attract More Airlines

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In line with its National Development Strategy (NDS)1 (2021-2025) and the Vision 2030 Agenda, Government of Zimbabwe is continuing to monitor strategic infrastructural projects with the main focus being on creating world class air transport infrastructure and services to ensure that more international airlines come to Zimbabwe.

The Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Economic Development, Honourable Felix Mhona said air transport leveraged by robust airport infrastructure is pivotal to the socio-economic development transformation and economic growth of the nation.

He made these remarks in Harare yesterday as he was welcoming President Mnangagwa at the tour the ongoing expansion of the Robert Gabriel Mugabe(RGM) International Airport.

He said his Ministry has hearkened to the President’s call to institute bold and transformative measures in infrastructural development.

“It is my enormous pleasure and immense privilege to welcome you to this auspicious occasion of your tour of the Robert Gabriel International Airport Expansion Project.”

As I welcome you, I wish you to let you know that under your gallant and upright leadership. We have also aligned our work ethic in the Ministry with your lofty aspirations for a better Zimbabwe as underpinned by the drive towards the attainment of Vision 2030 Agenda,” said Mhona.

He said the National Development Strategy (NDS)1 (2021-2025) that the government is ably implimenting envisages under Item 409 as outcome objective of having reliable, safe and world class air transport infrastructure and services.

The target therein, the Minister said is to propel the cargo handling capacity from 40,2 million to 43,0 million and the number of passengers to be uplifted from 0,5 million to 2 million by 2025.

The RGM International Airport Expansion Project dovetails with the targets enunciated in the NDS1 as infrastructure upgradation is a sure enabler towards achievement of such targets. This is testament to the fact that the Zimbabwe is Open for Business call is not mere mantra, but the soul and filament of your development agenda.”

The Minister extolled the government’s engagement and re-engagement policy which is grounded in economic diplomacy explaining that it has attracted the Chinese to extend their support to Zimbabwe’ infrastructure development.

The impetus of your foreign policy of economic diplomacy has unlocked a concessionary loan from our counterparts of the People’s Republic of China to the tune of USD 153 Million.

We are thus extremely grateful Your Excellency Sir, of your leadership which is grounded in a beneficial economic diplomatic thrust, which has unlocked the value and full capacity of this airport infrastructure through the assistance of our all weather friends, the People’s Republic of China.”

The project includes rehabilitating the existing apron and the development of the new apron for four more aerobridges to accommodate long and wide aircraft.

It also includes construction of new fire station and VVIP Pavilion and the expansion rehabilitation of the existing International and Domestic Terminal Buildings.

Further, equipment for passenger facilitation, check-in counters, baggage handling access control and installation of modern navigation equipment shall be upgraded.

The Minister pointed out that the aesthetic glamour and attractive splendor of airport infrastructure is a guaranteed nectar of tourism leading to other positives such as trade and regional integration.

It improves movement of people and goods in a more cost effective way. It is therefore evident that the refurbished aviation infrastructure has the greatest potential to spur economic growth in our country hence the prioritization of this project.”


He said the Ministry was inspired by the President’s strong resolve to guide Zimbabwe along the path of rapid socio-economic transformation across various sectors of the economy including airport infrastructure.

“We have no doubt that with your leadership and the unprecedented trajectory of growth you have set for our people, RGM shall reclaim its status hub of air transport connectivity in the region. As is evident, your government will succeed and achieve remarkable milestones with this project despite challenges being experienced due to the Covid-19 pandemic.”

This publication learnt that the ongoing airport infrastructure upgrading is not only limited to the RGM airport. It is also earmarked for Kariba, Buffalo Range, Hwange, Masvingo and Charles Prince Airports as well as construction of the control tower at Joshua Nkomo Airport.

Speaking to the state media on Tuesday, China Jiangsu International project manager Mr Weiwei said the Covid-19 pandemic hindered progress, but they had since resumed operations and work was progressing well.

“We suffered a one-year delay because of the Covid-19 pandemic, but next month, we will finish inside work and this time next year we will be completing the new expansions and we will start on refurbishments of existing terminals. We are very confident that we will deliver a good product to this country,” said Weiwei.

Acting chief executive for Airports Company of Zimbabwe, Mr Tawanda Gusha, said they were expecting an expansion in air travel.

“The international terminal and the domestic terminal buildings will also be refurbished with the project increasing the airport’s holding capacity to six million people per annum from 2,5 million,” he said.

The project commenced in April 2019 and is projected to be complete by June 2023.

According to Minister Mhona, the concrete work is now on 90 percent completion while the roof is about 80 percent.

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