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New Robert Gabriel Mugabe airport terminal set to open

by Staff reporter
14 Jun 2023 at 06:30hrs | Views
The US$153 million expansion of Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport is now complete and is expected to be commissioned on July 13 as the Second Republic continues delivering key projects in line with President Mnangagwa's vision of attaining an upper middle-income economy by 2030.

The RGM International Airport is expected to be handed over to the Airports Company of Zimbabwe by the contractor, China Jiangsu International-RGM Airport Project, anytime this month while the refurbishment of the older terminal area is set to be finished by December.

Security has already been beefed up at the airport to ensure the safety of travellers and visitors as well as to thwart any criminal activities at the new infrastructure.

Law enforcement agencies have said they have adequate human resources deployed so far while closed-circuit television systems are in place for video surveillance.

Travellers will start using the extension by the end of this month as the Government continues its drive to enhance aviation infrastructure in line with global standards.

Developing an efficient air transport system is critical in enhancing economic growth in line with the country's aspirations as expressed under the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1).

This project has set the tone for massive transformation in the aviation and tourism sectors.

Construction at the main terminal is complete and only a few final touches were made while the state-of-the-art VVIP pavilion is almost ready.

The new arrivals and departure sections will be opened to the public very soon while the rehabilitation of the existing international and domestic terminal buildings will also be carried out.

The Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport modernisation drive is one of the flagship projects being implemented by the Second Republic under the leadership of President Mnangagwa, who has placed emphasis on high impact projects in line with the National Development Strategy 1.

The airport will become a regional aviation hub able to handle about 6 million passengers annually, from the present 2,5 million.

The upgrading of the RGM International Airport is also expected to see more international airlines opening routes into Harare and a corresponding increase in tourist arrivals.

Posting on its Twitter handle yesterday, the Airports Company of Zimbabwe confirmed that RGM International Airport will now be commissioned next month.

"Exciting news! We are thrilled to announce that the new RG Mugabe Airport will be commissioned on 13 July 2023. Get ready for a world-class travel experience with state-of-the-art facilities and top-notch services," ACZ said.

So far four new aerobridges, one with a capacity of handling A380 aircraft and four baggage carousels have been installed. There is also construction of a new fire station, relocation of satellite fire station and the rehabilitation of an existing apron.

Meanwhile, national police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said plans are underway to beef up security personnel as well as setting up a state of the art police station at the airport.

"The ZRP has a constitutional mandate to maintain law and order, to safeguard lives and property and above all to prevent, detect and investigate crime.

"The completion of the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport expansion means that the police has to collaborate and work together with the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development and airport officials to ensure that security measures are enhanced.

"There is also going to be a state of the art police station and also enhancing police operations on a daily basis to curb criminal activities while manpower will also be boosted and its work in progress," he said.

Chief Director of Immigration Ms Respect Gono said they would work hand in glove with the ZRP and they were on high alert.

"We are very much prepared and we have adequate human resources that we will be deploying at the new international airport. We and the police will be on high alert.

"We are on top of the situation especially on human trafficking and smuggling which is very rampant," she said. Ms Gono also said with the Zimbabwe Population Registry System set to be rolled out this year by the Ministry of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage, it will also significantly improve crime detection as it will have the Zimbabwe Republic Police, the Immigration Department and the Registrar-General's Office all interlinked on an integrated platform.

"This will make it easier for security institutions to track criminal elements and curb cross-border crime," she said.

During a recent tour of the airport by Government officials and journalists, the Airports Company of Zimbabwe chief executive officer Mr Tawanda Gusha said the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport development was progressing very well.

"As we were walking around we could see that a lot of equipment had been installed, such as escalators. We are in the process of installing surveillance systems.

"You will see the CCTVs are already in place, passenger processing equipment such as check-in counters as well as flight information displays are also being installed as we speak.

"So we are almost complete with the implementation of the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport development," Mr Gusha said.

When completed, Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport will have four new aero bridges, secondary radar system, a VIP pavilion, airfield ground lighting and a communication system among other things.

So far progress which has been made includes the completion of the runways and taxiways, decoration of new terminal buildings, procurement and installation of equipment such as secondary radar, boarding aero bridges, baggage handling system, docking system and scanners, among others.

Travellers and some Zimbabweans based in the diaspora have since hailed the latest developments.

Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Felix Mhona recently said he was happy with the progress at the airport as the Second Republic delivers.

Source - The Herald
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