By Audrey Kapalamula:
Kamuzu International Airport (Kia) in Lilongwe will now be able to handle 500 passengers in an hour— up from 50— following completion of the construction of new buildings, which were part of the K25 billion airport expansion project.
Speaking after Japanese contractor Marubeni Protechs Corporation handed over the three new buildings Monday, Airport Development Limited Chief Executive Officer, Rhoda Misomali, said the facilities would improve the airport’s operations.
“We anticipate processing about 500 passengers in an hour. We are going to reduce the time passengers spend especially on arrival. In terms of operations, it brings a lot of efficiency to our operations,” she said.
Misomali said, before construction of the buildings, the airport could handle 30 to 50 passengers only in an hour.
The contractor handed over the buildings to the Department of Civil Aviation.
James Chakwera, the department’s acting deputy director in the Transport and Public Works Ministry, said the buildings have put Malawi at par with other international airports.
“For the aviation sector, this is a very big improvement. It means that we have ample space to process our passengers. This should put us at par with what is elsewhere,” he said.
Chakwera said the contractor would also rehabilitate old passenger terminal buildings which would be used for check-in and accommodating commercial and organisation facilities.
Marubeni General Manager, Yasuhiro Tanaka, said they hope to complete constructing the remaining part, which includes rehabilitation of an elevator for the control tower, aircraft surveillance system and security equipment, by the end of the year.
The buildings have been constructed with a grant from the Japanese government through Japanese International Cooperation Agency.
The buildings include domestic and international passenger terminals, arrival and departure wing.
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