$33 million for Kamuzu International Airport upgrades
Kamuzu International Airport (KIA) is expected to wear a new face following a pledge by the Japanese government to renovate and expand the facility with funds amounting to $33 million.
The expansion will reduce problems of congestion that are currently being faced at the airport. Some of the upgrades will include facilities to accommodate more planes to land at the same time.
The Japanese Government is expected to fund the project which will include expansion of the airport terminal building, rehabilitation and provision of surveillance equipment.
A member of the Japanese senate, Iwao Horii, who visited the airport on Tuesday, said Japan aims to significantly improve operations at the airport.
“Japan wants to improve this facility. I have heard that Malawi is the Warm Heart of Africa and it is true. Malawians are very kind to us so this is our token of appreciation,” he said.
The airport was opened in 1983 and most of its equipment has aged. Currently, the facility does not meet the surveillance standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).
ICAO is expected to blacklist all airports around the word which will not have surveillance equipment by 2020.
Airport Commandant, Macletcher Bongwe, said the expansion will enable Malawi circumvent the blacklisting process.
“KIA is one of the airports without any surveillance equipment so the expansion project will enable Malawi not to be blacklisted. The Japanese Government is going to provide Airport surveillance equipment so we are going to be in time before the blacklisting,” he said.
The project is expected to be finalised in two years’ time.