Panashe Chikonyora and Chipo Chaumba
The Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe (CAAZ) is looking for reputable and experienced entities to operate duty-free shops at Robert Gabriel Mugabe and Victoria Falls International Airports, as part of developing non-aviation revenue generating activities.
The move follows the authority’s decision to operationalise its duty-free retail shops in Harare and Victoria Falls to ensure the survival of airports under its jurisdiction, in line with its mandate to promote safe, regular and efficient use and development of aviation inside and outside of Zimbabwe and advising government on all matters relating to domestic and international aviation.
In a statement CAAZ emphasised its importance as the regulator of the country’s major airports (Robert Gabriel Mugabe and Victoria Falls International Airports), saying its duty is to guarantee their adequate function for the betterment of the economy.
“CAAZ is obliged to ensure airports under its jurisdiction are attractive and effective to service.
“While it pays attention to all the activities of these airports and non-aviation revenue-generating activities, it has become extremely important for these airports to remain competitive.
“The growth of non-aviation revenues enables airports to generate funds that are ring-fenced for investment in infrastructure and development. CAAZ, therefore, considers duty free retail operations as one of its key growth strategies,” said CAAZ.
Meanwhile, the authority encouraged interested companies with legal, economic and financial, technical and professional capacity requirements to submit their applications for consideration before November 16.
It said successful entities would operate duty-free shops at the Robert Gabriel Mugabe and Victoria Falls International Airports on a concession basis.
“Successful tenderers should also be willing to enter into trade arrangements or such synergies that promote co-operation in order to leverage on the subsequent economies of scale with existing duty-free operators at the respective airports.
“This, therefore, means successful tenderers will act as master concessionaires,” said the authority.
CAAZ said operationalising the duty-free shops also supports its vision of becoming a regional hub of world class aviation services by the year 2020 while at the same time profitably running its airports.