from ESTHER SHAVI in Kariba, Zimbabwe
KARIBA, (CAJ News) – AUTHORITIES have provided an update on the proposed airport for the resort town of Kariba, northern Zimbabwe.
A new airport will be used in place of the current one, which the now-deceased Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother landed in for the official opening of Kariba Dam in 1960.
“At the moment the new Kariba Airport is in the planning stage, which involves the feasibility study to ascertain the cost among other things,” Tawanda Gusha, Chief Executive Officer for the Airports Company of Zimbabwe, said in an interview.
The following stage will entail the tendering for the design and construction.
“At that stage, all the timeliness will be clear,” Gusha added.
The current airport is 4km east of the town and 13 kilometers from the Kariba Dam.
The Airport has a runway covering 1,6km.
Recently the airport became home to Fastjet, which plies the route daily.
Speaking at the launch of the Fastjet flights, held in Kariba recently, Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister, Felix Mhona confirmed a move the new airport would accommodate a wide range of aircraft and would restore Kariba’s status.
“The government, through my ministry, identified a new site for the relocation of this airport,” he said.
“Relocating this airport to a new site will accommodate a wide range of aircraft and promote Kariba as a tourist destination,” Mhona added.
Places proposed for the airport include Charara and an area across the road from the old airport.
The tourist town has lately witnessed a decline in both domestic and international tourists due to the long journeys from, for example the capital Harare, 280km away.
– CAJ News