New Look Victoria Falls Airport, Boon for Zim Tourism
By mid-morning on Saturday November 19 2016 the Victoria Falls International Airport was already busy with a coterie of aircrafts -- from wide bodied to small ones.
The previous day, President Mugabe had set the ball rolling after commissioning this new-look world class airport and it was already humming with traffic, some planes preparing to take off while some had their engines still running after a safe landing and others in the hanger.
It's a new look state-of the art-airport after the Government of Zimbabwe secured $150 million loan from a Chinese bank towards its refurbishment.
The international airport which thrive on the spectacular world class tourist attraction -- the mighty Victoria Falls-- is expected to boost tourist arrivals, now that it can accommodate wide bodied aircraft.
And with some counties like South Africa which are indirectly benefiting from this grand airport now upping their game, advertising the Victoria Falls like it was their own, the new Victoria Falls International Airport seems to have opened flood gates for airlines from across the globe.
After all, with a new 4km long and 60 metres wide runway nothing can stop this new airport from welcoming an aircraft of any size. Zimbabwe is also a signatory of the 1999 Yamoussoukro Declaration which promotes open skies policy and was ratified by over 14 African countries.
As I cast my eyes in admiration of this new and refreshing architectural splendour, I could see a British Airways Boeing 737-800 series kissing the tarmac as it landed, the springbok Boeing 737-800 series of South African Airways, Air Zimbabwe Boeing 767 and Air Namibia's Embraer 135 all looking like ghostly figures across the airfield.
With the airport now operating 24/7, tourists now have reason to make a date with one of the world's renowned natural wonders described by the colonial explorer, David Livingstone as "so beautiful that even Angels on their flight to heaven should have stopped and gazed!"
Victoria Falls is now within touching distance to the world but how Zimbabwe stands to realise the gains from this million dollar project?
In this day and age where the world has become one global village, air transportation is fast proving a vital cog in the development of economies hence the 'open skies policy' mantra reaching fever pitch at every government economic recovery strategy fora.