CAAZ seeks funds for Nkomo Airport

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THE Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe (CAAZ) is scouting for an investor for joint partnership projects worth $135 million, as the authority steps up efforts to rejuvenate the ailing aviation industry in the country.

Report by Gamma Mudarikiri

In a submission made to the Zimbabwe Investment Authority), the authority said it was searching for joint partnership on a project worth $105 million.

The project will involve the construction of a 4km runway at the Joshua Mqabuko International Airport with a full length parallel, taxi way and the upgrading of a terminal building to separate international from domestic facilities.

CAAZ said the designs for both the terminal building and the airside at the airport in Bulawayo were near completion and would be ready for presentation before end of this year.

The aviation authority is also looking for an investor in another joint partnership project worth $30 million to build an integrated cargo centre at Harare International Airport with dedicated airside and landslide access facilities like taxiways, roads and parking areas.

“An area of 4 000 square metres of land has been identified and set aside for the project,” part of the submission reads.

The projects are part of the CAAZ three-year strategic plan expected to turn around the country into a competitive regional aviation hub by 2015.
The authority adopted the plan early this month.

CAAZ management said the three- year plan will, among other things, see the expansion of existing airports and the investment in the latest aviation infrastructure.

The authority is currently involved in the upgrading of the Victoria Falls Airport into a regional airport with capacity to handle wide-bodied aircraft and up to 1,5 million visitors a year.

Among some of the key projects embarked upon by the authority include the new terminal at Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo International Airport in Bulawayo as well as the refurbishment of the Harare International Airport runway and taxiway.

However, progress on the projects continues on a snail pace largely due to constraints in funding.

Last week CAAZ announced that it was still awaiting the release of $5,9 million from treasury for the completion of work at the Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo International Airport in Bulawayo.

The project was started over decade ago, but its finalisation is still uncertain largely due to financial constraints as the country continues to struggle to lure Foreign Direct Investments.