Victoria Falls International Airport Undergoes Massive Upgrade
by Faniso Zimunya
Victoria Falls Airport (image by ZNCC)
Construction has already begun at Victoria Falls International Airport in order to increase its size and capacity on a large scale. After the refurbishment, the airport will be able to land and handle larger and wider aircraft than it currently manages. This means that there will be an opportunity for more flights and airlines to traffic the country and the region. The new airport will be large enough to handle 17 medium sized aeroplanes plus three Boeing 747 aircrafts at any one time. The $150 million dollar project will turn the airport into an International one, rather than a regional airport.
The number of visitors is already increasing, and is expected to keep growing after the expansion is complete. The manager of the Victoria Falls International Airport, Ronnie Masawi states that after completion, the airport would be able to accommodate three times more passengers than before, with a yearly capacity of 1.25 million international and regional passengers.
Apart from a new 4km runway, the new airport will have a new international terminal building, as well as a revamped domestic terminal. The existing runway will be used as a taxiway. A new control tower with more modern equipment is also under construction. A new fire station will be added to the airport as well. In addition, the aircraft housing and visitors’ parking lot will be expanded.
The entire project is set to be completed by August of 2015 and will see the Victoria Falls International Airport being upgraded to a Category II airport. Low cost air carrier flyafrica.com are considering increasing routes from Victoria Falls. They currently service a Victoria Falls-Johannesburg route.
Zimbabwean Government has funding from China's Export-Import (Exim) Bank loan for the expansion of Victoria Falls International Airport, and constructed is being done by China Jiangsu International Group.