Zimbabwe’s RGM International Airport Completes Expansion, Enhancing Capacity and Economic Growth  

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Zimbabwe’s Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport (HRE) has reached a significant milestone with the completion of its long-awaited expansion project. Undertaken by China Jiangsu International and funded by the Export-Import Bank of China, the project aimed to modernize and enhance the airport’s facilities, thereby increasing its holding capacity and positioning it as a key transportation hub in the region. With the commissioning ceremony held on July 14, the upgraded airport is now poised to provide a world-class travel experience and drive economic growth for the country.

Expansion Highlights

The comprehensive expansion project commenced in 2018 and encompassed several crucial elements. The focal point of the development was the construction of a state-of-the-art international terminal building and aprons, designed to cater to the growing number of passengers. This expansion will significantly augment the airport’s capacity, increasing its ability to accommodate 6 million travelers annually, up from the previous capacity of 2.5 million.

Among the other improvements introduced are four new bridges, enhancing the airport’s connectivity and accessibility. Additionally, a secondary radar system was implemented to bolster air traffic control capabilities, ensuring the safety and efficiency of flight operations. A VVIP pavilion was also included to cater to the needs of distinguished guests, further elevating the airport’s status.

The expansion project was not limited to infrastructure enhancements but also included the installation of an advanced airfield ground lighting and communication system, which further supports safe and efficient aircraft operations.

Commissioning Ceremony

The momentous occasion of the commissioning ceremony was attended by senior government officials, including Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa, and esteemed guests such as the Chinese Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Zhou Ding, along with other foreign diplomats. President Mnangagwa expressed his admiration for the modernized facility, emphasizing its compliance with international standards. He highlighted the positive impacts the airport has already brought to the country’s economy, including the transfer of skills and technology, as well as the creation of employment and empowerment opportunities.

Chinese Ambassador Zhou expressed his satisfaction with the collaborative efforts between China and Zimbabwe, noting that the bilateral relations have consistently yielded tangible outcomes. The airport expansion project, he asserted, serves as a testament to the fruitful cooperation and friendship shared between the two nations.

Economic Growth and Future Plans

The completion of the US$153 million expansion project aligns with President Mnangagwa’s vision of transforming Zimbabwe into an upper middle-income economy by 2030. The upgraded RGM International Airport is expected to play a pivotal role in achieving this goal by attracting more international visitors, facilitating trade, and boosting the tourism sector. The modernized infrastructure will provide a seamless travel experience, creating a favorable impression of Zimbabwe as a destination for business and leisure.

The Airports Company of Zimbabwe is anticipated to assume control of the airport following its handover by China Jiangsu International-RGM Airport Project later this month. Furthermore, plans are underway to refurbish the older terminal area, with completion scheduled for December.

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