RGM International Airport rehab shifts to domestic terminal

THE rehabilitation of the domestic terminal at Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport in Harare has begun with the project set to be completed by July this year.

Passengers who use the domestic terminal are now temporarily using the international terminal.

Airport infrastructure development is one of the top priorities in facilitating the ease of doing business in Zimbabwe and globally. RGM International Airport has gone through a significant transformation at a cost of US$153 million to enhance its passenger handling capacity.

In a statement, the Airports Company of Zimbabwe confirmed the start of the refurbishment.

“We have started refurbishment work on the domestic terminal, bringing a fresh and seamless new look while preserving the iconic design of the original terminal. The project is scheduled to be complete by July 2024. This includes both the international and the domestic terminals refurbishment.

“Provisionally we are also working on expanding the existing car park. Meanwhile, the multi-storey parking is not part of this project and is still at infancy stage in terms of planning and logistics.”

Work was also in progress on refurbishing the air traffic control tower. “The refurbishment of the iconic and historically significant RG Mugabe International Airport air traffic control tower is currently underway. The tower’s unique design is reminiscent of the ‘Great Medieval Palace’ at the Great Zimbabwe Monument, whence the country derived its name.

“It’s being retained, but giving it a fresh look,” ACZ said.

In November last year, China Jiangsu International successfully completed the renovation of the right side flight display of the old terminal at the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport.

President Mnangagwa this year commissioned the new-look RGM International Airport, as the Second Republic continues to deliver key projects in line with the country’s vision of attaining an upper middle-income economy by 2030.

ACZ public relations and communications manager Mr Tonderai Mangombe said the completion of the renovation of the old terminal’s right-side flight display instilled confidence in international travellers and investors, assuring them that Zimbabwe is a reliable and safe destination.

“It showcases Zimbabwe’s commitment to infrastructure development and modernisation, enhancing its competitiveness in the global market.

“A beautiful point of entry also encourages repeat visits and word-of-mouth recommendations, driving tourism growth and contributing to the country’s economic development.

“Furthermore, a well-maintained and aesthetically appealing point of entry reflects the country’s attention to detail, organisation and overall professionalism,” he said.

Mr Mangombe said the increased tourism activity can create employment opportunities, stimulate local businesses and generate revenue for the Government through taxes and fees.

The completion of renovations, he said, would help in enhancing Zimbabwe’s reputation, promoting economic growth and establishing a strong presence in the global tourism market.

“It acts as a gateway to the country, leaving a lasting impression on visitors and setting the stage for a positive experience in Zimbabwe.”

RGM International Airport continues to welcome new airlines. In addition to the domestic carriers, Airlink, Ethiopian Airlines, Emirates and Qatar Airways also operate regional and international flights to Harare.

In March 2023, Zambia Airways resumed flights to Harare after 27 years as it re-entered the regional market.

In April 2023, Eswatini Air launched flights to Harare, its third regional destination, after commencing operations a month earlier. Zimbabwe hopes to continue adding routes to its network with the terminal expansion.

The RGM International Airport has since been handed over to the Airports Company of Zimbabwe (ACZ) by the contractor, China Jiangsu International-RGM Airport Project.

Security has already been beefed up at the airport to ensure the safety of travellers and visitors as well as to thwart any criminal activities at the new terminal.

Travellers have started using the extension as Government continues its drive to enhance aviation infrastructure in line with global standards.

The new arrivals and departure sections have been opened to the public while the rehabilitation of the existing international and domestic terminal buildings progresses.

The completion of the expansion of Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport is evidence that the Second Republic is walking the talk in modernising and industrialising the country for the achievement of Vision 2030.

The airport will become a regional aviation hub able to handle about 6 million passengers annually, from the present 2,5 million.

Four new aerobridges, one with a capacity of handling A380 aircraft and four baggage carousels, have been installed.

Herald

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