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Kamuzu International Airport capacity to increase by 250,000

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The construction of a new terminal building at Kamuzu International Airport (Kia) is expected to increase the capacity of the airport from the current 350,000 to 600, 000 passengers per annum.

According to the project’s brief, the passport control counters, check-in counters, security screening area and departure lobby are congested, as they are too small to meet the current demand.

“After rehabilitation of the existing passenger terminal, the newly constructed buildings will be inter-linked to the rehabilitated terminal by corridors to connect the infrastructure as one unit. This will increase the capacity of the airport from the current 350,000 passengers per annum to 600,000 per annum,” reads the brief.

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Department of Civil Aviation in the Ministry of Transport and Public Works will be implementing the project, with support from the Japanese Government, through Japanese International Cooperation Agency (Jica). A total of $30.4 million (About K22.3 billion) will be spent on the project.

During the ground-breaking ceremony of the project on Friday, President Peter Mutharika said the process of modernising the country’s airports has started.

“This is now time to modernise our airports. A dual carriageway will connect this airport to the heart of Lilongwe City. You will see modern roundabouts on that road,” Mutharika said.

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Japanese Ambassador to Malawi Kae Yanagisawa said with increased capacity, Kia will attract more international flights as well as establish and strengthen bilateral air services agreements with neighbouring countries.

“The airport services and operation will be more efficient and effective, reduce the average waiting time at the check-in and immigration counters. The aircraft monitoring system will enhance safety of flights and passengers. We further envisage this will promote trade, tourism, industry and ultimately boost economic activities of Malawi,” Yanagisawa said.

The project includes construction of a new international arrival and departure wings and a new domestic passenger building. It will also include rehabilitation of existing passenger terminal building and provision of equipment (airport surveillance, baggage handling system and security).

It is expected that the project will be completed by March 31, 2019.

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