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Airports get $1.5 billion for upgrade

NANCY MWAPE, Livingstone
GOVERNMENT has budgeted over US$1.5 billion for upgrading of the four international airports, provincial runways and district aerodromes.
Civil Aviation Authority director-general Gabriel Lesa said in response to a press query that Government has in recent years embarked on massive infrastructure development and aerodrome equipment improvement.
Mr Lesa said Government is currently upgrading aerodrome infrastructure in provinces from gravel runways to tarmac.
“Upgrading of aerodromes will invariably increase the connectivity to most remote places in the country.
“These Government interventions will help to alleviate the lack of adequate resources to improve aviation sector performance,” he said.
Mr Lesa said works at Harry Mwaanga Nkumbula International Airport terminal in Livingstone are about 95 percent complete while the construction of the Kenneth Kaunda International Airport (KKIA) terminal in Lusaka has started.
He said the proposed Greenfield airport in Ndola and the construction of modern terminal at Mfuwe International Airport will help improve the performance of the aviation sector.
Mr Lesa also said Government has procured 23 fire tenders and nine ambulances for various aerodromes, including the international airports.
He said Government has procured primary and secondary radar, which has since been installed at Kenneth Kaunda and Harry Mwaanga Nkumbula airports to be commissioned soon to improve the safety of air navigation in Zambia.
“The massive infrastructure aerodrome development countrywide by Government will result in improved connectivity and expansion of tourism through the development of facilities that will aid tourism,” he said.
Mr Lesa said Government’s move to modernise the four international airports will increase their passenger and cargo handling capacity.
He said the development will also enhance capacities for more movement, revenue and new employment.
“This will in turn feed into the growth of other economic activities leading to a higher gross domestic product in Zambia,” he said.
He said the authority is mandated to promote safe and secure air transport in Zambia.