GOVERNMENT has expressed optimism that the Copperbelt International Airport in Ndola will be completed by Mid-2020.
Ministry of Housing and Infrastructure Development Permanent Secretary Engineer Charles Mushota said progress has been made with regard to the designing and construction of the airport infrastructure in Ndola and that the contractor was committed to completing the project on time.
Engineer Mushota said this in France where he was leading a delegation of Technocrats for an important design stimulation meeting whose main purpose was to review the Copperbelt International Airport interior design being undertaken by a French Company EGIS AVIA Consultants.
Engineer Mushota explained that AVIC International, the main contractor of the project, engaged EGIS AVIA Consultants, one of the French leading companies that offers engineering solutions in contract management, transportation, aviation, and environmental issues to work on the interior designing of the Copperbelt International Airport in Ndola.
“We had a successful meeting in that we were able to look at different options and zero into the options which depicts the values of the country but also those which meet international standards because as a nation, we are looking at becoming the regional hub, ” Engineer Mushota said.
The Permanent Secretary stressed that there was great importance attached to the project and hence the reason the government was also putting up a fuel farm at the green field area so as to ensure that there were no shortages of fuel once the airport started running.
“Government looked at the future because the country is diversifying and that is the reason why the airport was designed in such a way that it could attract trade, both export and import from the Copperbelt. We hope the private sector could take advantage of the government’s foresight to tap in the International Airport on the Copperbelt, ” Engineer Mushota added.
And Zambia’s Ambassador to France, Dr. Christine Kaseba-Sata pointed out that the Presidential decree on the need for a national airline should be supported as it would help boost the economy and as such contribute towards job creation and raising the standard of living for the people.
“The Seventh National Development Plan (7NDP) is our pride and certainly, having an airline coupled with airports that meet international standards will be a plus for Zambia because we’re talking about boosting our economy although some sections of society are looking at it as an economic drain but in actual fact this is what is going to boost Zambia’s economy because these facilities will be used as avenues to facilitate tourism, mining and agricultural exports and imports.
Ambassador Kaseba-Sata further acknowledged the efforts made by AVIC International to engage EGIS Consultants to work on the interior design of the Copperbelt International Airport stating that the move would attract more French companies to come on board.
Furthermore, Ambassador Kaseba-Sata expressed optimism that EGIS Consultants would spread the message of goodwill to other French companies and thus making it easy for the Mission in Paris to Market Zambia in France.