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Joshua Nkomo Airport ready for commissioning

by Staff reporter
11 Apr 2013 at 22:27hrs | Views
CONSTRUCTION work at the new terminal at Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo International Airport in Bulawayo is almost complete with the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe saying it was ready for commissioning.

Responding to questions from stakeholders in the tourism sector at a Bulawayo hotel on Wednesday, JM Nkomo International Airport manager Mr Passmore Dewa said they had requested Government to open the terminal during the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF).

"The airport is ready for operation. The airport is 99 percent complete and we have said to the Ministry of Transport, Communication and Infrastructural Development can we use it for the trade fair. Technically we are ready to use it for the trade fair," he said during a stakeholders' meeting organised by the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA).

He said their parent Ministry was yet to respond to their proposal.

"In terms of the super structure, water and sewer system, walls, checking in and shops, all are done. We would want it to be opened now but the official opening can be later."

Players in the tourism sector have expressed concern over delays to complete the upgrading of the $30 million JM Nkomo International Airport, which started more than a decade ago.

"We are pushing the Minister (Mr Nicholas Goche) to accept our proposals that we can use the airport once it is opened while the official opening will be done later. The Minister is here today and will use it to see if it is possible to be used," he said.

The upgrading and rehabilitation of the airport included putting in place systems and equipment required for an international airport.

The Zimbabwe Tourism Authority chief executive officer Mr Karikoga Kaseke said they were also concerned at delays in completing the upgrading of the airport.

"In the past, some people in Government have asked whether we are still together in Government. Because ZTA is concerned over delays to complete the upgrading of the airport, I have said unprintable words in the newspapers and who cares? I don't care who has been offended," said Mr Kaseke.

Upgrading and rehabilitation of the JM Nkomo International Airport has on several occasions missed its completion deadlines due to shortage of resources to finance the project.

The Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe resumed the airport's rehabilitation projects in April 2010 following their suspension a few years ago.

Source - TC