By Farayi Machamire
Harare International Airport will undergo various upgrades to accommodate the growing demand for air travel, both domestically and internationally.
Top government officials said the focus was not only on upgrading the facilities but also the ambience.
The airport has started installing an aviation fuel depot.
The storage tanks of Jet A-1 fuel with direct airside access are expected to provide greater choice for all aviation users at the airport, making it easier to refuel quickly.
Energy minister Samuel Undenge told the Daily News yesterday: “Harare International Airport is getting busier as more flights come to Harare. In fact, the airport is scheduled for expansion in the near future. With a busier airport, there will be need for more Jet A1.
“(The State-owned National Oil Infrastructure Company of Zimbabwe) Noicz will be using own financial resources. This is a positive development which will enhance the attractiveness of the Harare International Airport to airlines.”
In a government gazette published on Friday, the State Procurement Board acting principal officer Samson Mutanhaurwa flighted tenders for the provision of mechanical works and provision of electrical works for the construction of the new Jet A1 deport at the Harare International Airport for Noicz.
“Tender documents are available for collection during normal working hours up to date and close of tender,” Mutanhaurwa said in the notice, adding the tender documents can be collected from the Procurement Office at Noczim House upon payment of a refundable $80.
The development comes as government has secured $153 million loan facility from China EximBank for the upgrade of Harare International Airport.
The airport was facing a myriad of challenges, including running on outdated and dilapidated equipment, rendering Air Traffic Controllers (ATC) unable to provide efficient and effective air navigation service.
In a recent assessment of the aviation industry, the parliamentary portfolio committee on Transport and Infrastructural Development reported a frequent breakdown of radios, and in some cases, pilots resorting to use of cell phones to communicate with controllers.
The report revealed how basic equipment such as microphones, headsets and handsets are in a sorry state and in short supply, with no backup communication systems in the event of a breakdown of the equipment. Daily News