Caaz invests $30m on airport rehab

HARARE - The Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe (Caaz) says it has invested $30 million in refurbishing Harare International Airport.

The authority — responsible for regulating Zimbabwe’s airspace and managing airports — said it will invest more in other airports’ facilities to keep them in line with international standards.

Zimbabwe has approximately nine airports, all having not been upgraded in the past decade.

“To operationalise Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo International Airport (Bulawayo) we need something like $7 million, although it will not be totally complete,” Caaz chief executive David Chawota told businessdaily on the sidelines of celebrations of the International Civil Aviation Day last Friday.

Chawota said the Victoria Falls International Airport involved two new projects that were of international nature and would cost about $150 million to complete in 2014.

“Finishing the project involves a lot of things. The cost of putting up the tower costs between $6 million to $8 million,” he said.

Commenting on allegations of poor lighting on the Harare International Airport runway by South African Airways, Chawota rubbished the claims adding that operations were above board as evidenced by the influx of international airlines.

“We provide services that are compliant with required international standards, that’s why we are operating this airport 24 hours,” he said.

Chawota added that smaller airports such as Buffalo Range and others required attention including the establishment of air space navigation infrastructure.

“We need to ascertain how much will be required to set up such infrastructure, the type of equipment, how many stations and the personnel needed for such an initiative,” said Chawota.

Recently appointed Transport deputy minister Morgan Komichi said Zimbabwe had gained tremendous benefits from its membership of International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) , including access to expert advice, audit inspections, technical assistance and skills development programmes for aviation personnel among others. “The next step is to separate regulatory and commercial operations.

This we hope to achieve by 2013, in order to further strengthen the oversight system and open commercialisation possibilities for the development of our airport system,” said Komichi. - Business Writer

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