By Morton Sibale – Mana.
The Japanese ambassador to Malawi, Satoshi Iwakiri has said he is impressed by the Japan-funded expansion and renovation works at the Kamuzu International Airport.
Iwakiri said this in Lilongwe Wednesday when he toured the airport to appreciate the recently completed project that has seen new terminal buildings constructed and the renovation of the existing passenger terminal building, among other developments.
He said that the newly constructed terminal buildings as well as the renovation works on the existing infrastructure have helped improve the condition and the capacity of the airport to enable it accommodate many passengers.
‘I am very impressed by the work that has been done, and seeing that the new structures and the equipment has already fixed a lot of challenges at the airport. The airport was a priority for our assistance to Malawi as a way of contributing to Malawi’s development,’ Iwakari said.
The ambassador said his government also has plans to build the capacity of the airport staff to be able to operate the new equipment that has been installed as part of the project. He said the aim of his government’s assistance on the project is to ensure that passengers are having a comfortable experience at the nation’s biggest airport.
And speaking after the tour, Kamuzu International Airport Commandant, Donnie Chimtengo said the project has greatly improved the operations of the airport and the experience of passengers for both international and domestic travels.
‘This project has greatly improved the capacity of the airport as we are now able to accommodate as many passengers as possible. The construction of the new terminal buildings and the renovation of the existing building has tripled our capacity,’ Chimtengo said.
The project to expand and rehabilitate the Kamuzu International Airport, which was scheduled to be completed this month, has been funded with a grant aid from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to the tune of 25 Billion Kwacha.
The project has seen, among other things, two international, and one domestic passenger terminal buildings constructed. The project has also renovated the existing passenger terminal, in addition to the installation of new equipment such as aircraft surveillance system and control tower elevator.
The works under the project have been completed and the official opening ceremony is just awaiting the ministry responsible (Ministry of Transport and Public Works.