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Zimbabwe: Victoria Falls Airport Opens in September
The new look multi-million dollar Victoria Falls International Airport, whose upgrade is underway, will be commissioned in September this year, Tourism and Hospitality Industry Minister, Walter Mzembi, has revealed.
This is despite the auditor general saying in her latest report that work on the airport would be complete by December.
The development is expected to boost the airport's aircraft handling capacity and tourism in the resort town of Victoria Falls, one of the seven natural wonders of the world.
Mzembi told an investment conference held last week in Johannesburg that the improved airport would be a game changer in tourism.
The airport's passenger capacity would be increased from the current 500 000 up to about 1,8 million annually.
It would also be able to handle long-haul jets from abroad, such as Airbus A340, Boeing 777 and Boeing 747.
The new facilities are expected to increase efficiency in Zimbabwe's tourism sector as well as improve its image.
The airport, funded by a US$150 million Export-Import Bank of China loan to the Zimbabwean government, is being constructed by a Chinese construction company, Jiangsu International Economic and Technical Cooperation Group.
The project entails the construction of a new four kilometre runway, a new international terminal building, new fire station, new control tower and installation of state-of-the-art aviation specialist equipment.
The airport expansion project started in February 2013. The new terminal would be used for international flights while the existing terminal would be converted to domestic use.
CAAZ is already marketing the new facility to lure new airlines.