Zambia’s National Airports Corporation embarks on expansion programme

Lusaka AirportHarry Mwanga Nkumbula International Airport – previously known as Lusaka International Airport – opened in August 2013. (Image source: khym54/Flickr)Zambia’s National Airports Corporation Limited (NACL) has embarked on an expansion and upgrade programme of the country’s international airports

The project to upgrade and expand the aviation facilities commenced with the construction of a new US$40mn international passenger terminal in August 2010 at the Harry Mwanga Nkumbula International Airport (HMNIA) – previously known as Livingstone International Airport – in the tourist capital, Livingstone. The old terminal, which will now be used for domestic and VIP purposes only, will be rehabilitated under phase three of the project.

Despite the constricted timeframe of the project, HMNIA opened its gates to the first international travellers on 21 August 2013 in good time for the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) conference.

Robinson Misitala, managing director of NACL said, “Building of the new terminal is one of the ways in which NACL is augmenting the government’s drive to position tourism at the heart of our country’s economic development. Completion of all features at the new terminal is scheduled for November 2013, with the commissioning of the terminal to follow soon after.”

Construction of the new terminal at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport (KKIA), previously known as Lusaka International Airport, is scheduled to start soon. Located in the capital city, the current airport, which was built in 1967, is the main gateway into Zambia and a hub for the continent.

“Construction of the KKIA terminal building is next in line with works scheduled to commence in September 2013 at a cost of US$360mn,” Misitala elaborated.

The Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe International Airport, previously Ndola International Airport, will be a greenfield airport to be constructed at a cost of US$522mn, set to add to the changing face of Ndola city, home to the Levy Mwanawasa stadium and two major shopping malls.

NACL’s mandate is to develop, maintain and manage the four designated international airports. The infrastructure development and expansion programme has been implemented due to the anticipated growth in passenger numbers by 2029, according to projections published by Jacobs Consultancy.

“We are confident that we are taking the step in the right direction by undertaking various initiatives aimed at improving aviation in this country. Three years ago, we embarked on an ambitious infrastructure development project which will see the expansion and upgrade of all our four international airports,” Misitala said.

 

Nawa Mutumweno

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