TRANSPORT and Infrastructural Development Minister Felix Mhona has implored players in the tourism, hospitality, and construction sectors to consider working together with the newly-created Airports Company of Zimbabwe (ACZ) through investment in the rehabilitation of infrastructure at local airports.
Airports Company of Zimbabwe (ACZ) is an entity that was unbundled from the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe (CAAZ) in 2020 after Transport and Infrastructural Development Ministry cited conflict of interest as CAAZ ran operations and as well as regulated the airports business on its own.
Speaking recently at Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) Minister Mhona indicated that airports have become hubs of business activity the world over, hence the need for the local businesses to tap into that opportunity and prop up efforts being woven together by the ACZ.
“Airports have become citadels of growth, which must attract lucrative businesses such as global flagship hotel brands.
“ACZ will be the face of our airports. Thus, we call upon all actors in the tourism, hospitality, and construction industries to work together with ACZ and invest in the restoration of infrastructure at our airports,” said Minister Mhona.
The ACZ is currently implementing the Robert Gabriel Mugabe (RGM) development project, which involves the extension of the existing international terminal that has the capacity handle between two million people to 5, 5 million passengers.
Including the domestic terminal, RGM will have a total capacity of 6 million passengers and the current works are now on the superstructure level which is nearing completion.
According to its newly appointed Chief Executive Officer Tawanda Gusha, ACZ is aiming the completion of RGM by mid-next year with a string of other airport development projects to be executed.
“The current construction phase at the Robert Mugabe International airport is expected to be completed around June 2022, where we will move operations to the new wings.
“We are also working on the construction of air traffic control at JM Nkomo International Airport in Bulawayo as another project we will implement in the short term.
“In the medium to long-term, we have airport development infrastructure projects lined up for the Buffalo Range and Charles Prince, Hwange National Park airports as well as at Masvingo airport.
“In terms of Kariba Airport, it is meant to be relocated from where it already is to a new site which has already been identified,” said Mr. Gusha.
ACZ is a new organisation that was formed through the Civil Aviation Amendment Act, 2018 (No.10 of 2018) mandated to acquire, establish, develop, maintain, manage, control and operate airports.
As part of its mandate ACZ is also responsible for roads and infrastructure connected to airports while in its new brief, CAAZ is responsible for regulating aircraft operation and provide air traffic control.