‘New Victoria Falls airport a game changer’

via ‘New Victoria Falls airport a game changer’ September 8, 2014 by Charles Laiton

THE multimillion dollar Victoria Falls international airport currently under expansion will change the face of the region, a tourism industry leader has said.

The airport which is going through a $150 million face-lift will be capable of landing and handling, in all conditions, long haul wide body jets.

Victoria Falls airport manager Ronnie Masawi said the new airport would accommodate three times more passengers than it currently handles.

“It would have an annual capacity of 1,2 million international travellers and 500 000 domestic passengers,” Masawi said.

“The developments include the construction of a new international terminal building, and the rehabilitation of the existing one into a domestic terminal. A new 4km runway, capable of landing the biggest passenger planes, including the A380, would be built, while the existing runway was set to become a taxiway,” he added.

Masawi further said a new control tower with state of the art equipment, and a new fire station, would also be built, while the aircraft parking area would be extended, and a new car park built to accommodate 400 vehicles as well as provide for long term parking.

Africa Albida Tourism chief executive Ross Kennedy said: “The Victoria Falls Airport is going to be a massive game changer, not only for Zimbabwe, but for the region as a whole.

“This is so because we will have a new airport capable of landing and handling, in all conditions, long haul wide body jets,” he added.

The airport, funded by a China Exim Bank loan to the Zimbabwean Government, is being constructed by China Jiangsu International Group.

Kennedy added the new airport would turn Victoria Falls into a new regional hub, firstly for tourism and secondly having the potential to become a commercial centre.

He further said Victoria Falls, being one of the seven natural wonders of the world and situated in the middle of Southern Africa, was a natural jump off point for visitors to the continent.

“It is also the hub of several countries, surrounded by incredible wildlife parks, and relatively few people, Kennedy said.

He further said the visitor numbers were already growing, with an 8,7% increase in airport arrivals in the first six months of this year compared to last year, adding with the new airport tourism was expected to boom.

In addition, Kennedy hoped a Univisa, mooted for visitors to Sadc countries would be introduced next year, boosting the ease of flow of tourists across borders.

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 8
  • comment-avatar
    Gomogranny 8 years ago

    You can build as many fancy airports as you like…if the politics makes a country either overpriced (Zimbabwe), dilapidated (Zimbabwe), saturated with poaching syndicates (Zimbabwe)or full of people so poor as to make tourists uncomfortable (Zimbabwe)then you will have half empty, very smart airports…chete.

  • comment-avatar

    Zanupf mysterious ” priorities “

  • comment-avatar
    John Thomas 8 years ago

    This is a white elephant being built for the bribe money.

  • comment-avatar
    The Mind Boggles 8 years ago

    Built by the chinese??? A380’s can’t land on potholed runways

  • comment-avatar
    Mixed Race 8 years ago

    We welcome the improvements at VFalls airport,however structures require well disciplined and honest people to operate them successfully otherwise they decay as soon as they are commissioned.
    Zimbabweans like to over state issues to sound as if we are the only country with unique structures when we are just following others like Oliver Tambo Airport with the latest ILS Equipment and other digital control radar equipment to make their airport nearly all weather which is not true in real practice.Mother nature cannot be controlled by simple human beings otherwise there would be no flights deviations due to poor weather.
    Our airports can only become viable once we make the following services attractive- landing,parking, catering and fuel.If you mess one of these the airlines would prefer to make us a stop over country and then head for a neighbouring countries for these services which generate jobs and money for the locals.How many airlines terminate at Harare International Airport at the moment and how many use our airport as a simple stop over?Our policies have to be right to reap results from the new structures.

  • comment-avatar
    Angela Wigmore 8 years ago

    Could it be that the government want the few planes that land in Zimbabwe to bypass Harare in favour of the Falls so that visitors do not see the dire state of our capital?

  • comment-avatar
    Parangeta 8 years ago

    If Victoria Falls Airport
    is run, managed, maintained
    like Air Zimbabwe, one should
    be VERY scared indeed.

    Please go see this hilarious
    YouTube, you’ll laugh like
    a drunken hyena!

    http://youtu.be/BX_tF1Ltawo?list=RDh-yQKSCC4jA

    Enjoy!

  • comment-avatar
    Justice 8 years ago

    And who is going to run it and maintain it with what funds? Another failed project and massive bribes paid.