GOVERNMENT has awarded a US$122 million tender to China National Complete Engineering Corporation for the construction of Mfuwe International Airport.
Zambia Airports Corporation Limited (ZACL) managing director Robinson Misitala said the project will be completed in two years. Negotiations on the scope of work and conceptual design are underway.
Mr Misitala said this in Livingstone yesterday shortly after touring construction works at Harry Mwaanga Nkumbula International Airport, which scheduled for commissioning next month.
“Traffic for Mfuwe is still low at 30,000 passengers per year and our target is to raise the figure to 300,000 passengers per annum.
“During the rainy season when most lodges close, the airport equally stops receiving passengers. Our plan is to make Mfuwe Airport a small city by ensuring that it has adequate accommodation and other facilities to attract tourists,” Mr Misitala said.
He said design of the new airport will include a hotel and shopping mall.
ZACL has partnered with Zambia Tourism Board (ZTB) to promote domestic tourism and encourage Zambians to use air transport.
Mr Misitala said the construction of the US$60 million Harry Mwaanga Nkumbula terminal in Livingstone is almost complete.
“Harry Mwaanga is massive and beautiful with excellent facilities but utilisation is only about 20 percent. Our task is to raise utilisation level to 50 percent and this can only be achieved by enticing Zambians to move away from road transport and start flying,” Mr Misitala said.
Mr Misitala said Proflight and the coming on board of a national airline and Fast Jet Zambia will next year increase use of the airport.