RGM airport readies for Sadc summit

Source: RGM airport readies for Sadc summit | The Sunday Mail

RGM airport readies for Sadc summit
The dedicated private pavilion for high-level dignitaries is nearing completion

Tanyaradzwa Rusike

DEVELOPMENT of a dedicated private pavilion for high-level dignitaries at the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport is nearing completion in preparation for the SADC Heads of State Summit in August.

The pavilion will offer exclusive amenities catering for high-ranking officials, including private lounges, meeting rooms and dedicated immigration or customs processing areas.

The comprehensive redevelopment project seeks to provide a luxury, private and secure environment for Heads of State, Government officials and other dignitaries attending the summit. Airports Company of Zimbabwe public relations and communications manager Mr Tonderai Mangombe said the country’s busiest airport was almost ready to receive summit delegates

“Yes, we can proudly affirm that we now have the capacity to clear passengers who will be coming in for the summit,” he said.

“The new terminal can now accommodate six million passengers per year, from the previous 2,5 million, thanks to the addition of enhanced passenger facilitation equipment. Construction of the dedicated VVIP pavilion at the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport is on track for completion to ensure world leaders have a comfortable and efficient arrival and departure experience.”

He said the new facility was designed to provide a private, secure and luxury lounge area for Heads of State, government officials and other VIP travellers.

Mr Mangombe said refurbishment of the domestic terminal, which has been temporarily closed, were ongoing. The terminal is undergoing interior and exterior repainting, installation of new flight information display systems and restoration of the famous viewing canopy

“The enhancements at the RGM International Airport domestic terminal are set to offer numerous advantages in terms of operational efficiency,” he said.

“The main benefits include streamlined passenger movement and increased terminal capacity, which will minimise waiting times and congestion, leading to greater passenger satisfaction and higher revenue potential.

“Upgraded security measures and infrastructure, which will bolster the airport’s safety and appeal, will potentially attract more airlines and travellers, while mitigating security threats. The terminal will also have superior amenities and services, offering passengers better lounging areas, shopping options and additional conveniences, thereby elevating the overall travel experience and the airport’s global competitiveness.”

The refurbishments, said Mr Mangombe, will incorporate eco-friendly designs and technologies that will enhance the airport’s energy efficiency. Overall, the renovations, he added, will improve operational efficiency.

“Apart from preparing for the SADC summit, the transformation of airport terminals and the VIP pavilion not only rejuvenates the airport, but also generates significant economic and social advantages for the neighbouring communities,” he said.

“Enhancements to the infrastructure and connectivity have the potential to attract new enterprises and invigorate the local economy, which can lead to the creation of new jobs and improved quality of life for residents.

“Moreover, the airport is poised to become a pivotal force in the broader scheme of regional development.”