Zimbabwe

Victoria Falls

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Hoteliers tour the new airport

Hoteliers tour the new airport

Hoteliers tour the new airport

BY GUY COCKROFT

Members of the Hospitality Association of Zimbabwe enjoyed a site inspection of the new terminal now under construction at Victoria Falls International Airport in May, guided by airport manager Ronnie Masawi.

The project is well underway, with the third and final floor of the terminal building, as well as the new 4km (60m wide) runway already nearing the final stages of construction. The runway is scheduled for completion by the end of 2014, when it will be opened in order to make provision for the upgrading of the current runway to be turned into a taxi-way, as well as for the extension of the current apron infront of the new terminal building. The new terminal is set to open in June/July 2015.

The refurbishment and upgrade of Victoria Falls International will see the airport upgraded to a Category II airport, which status depends on navigational and safety facilities, including an Instrument Landing System which will enable pilots to land in either direction in periods of low visibility. (Dubai International Airport is also a Category II airport.) The upgrade involves the construction of a new fire station as well as an entirely new water management infrastructure, including a new 8,000m3 reservoir.

The new runway will be able to accommodate all wide-bodied aircraft, up to and including the Airbus A380 Super jumbo – however, as Masawi explained to the visiting group, this does not mean that the terminal building is equipped to accommodate an A380 when it comes to ground handling logistics such as catering and baggage handling.

There will be 12 customs and immigration desks in the new terminal, to replace the two that exist in the current building. The current terminal will also undergo a refurbishment, and will then become a fully-fledged domestic terminal. Part of the new domestic terminal upgrade will include the construction of a baggage carousel, while there will be three carousels in the arrivals hall of the new terminal. The new terminal will be equipped to handle up to 1.2 million passengers per annum, and the domestic terminal up to 800,000.

Part of the design of the new terminal will include a large circular patio area enclosed with glass which will separate the check-in area from baggage collection section on the ground floor, as well as allowing ample natural light into the building. As is the case with most modern airports, there are no plans to include a smoking lounge or viewing platform.

More from this issue:
ZT17 (June 2014) - Main Menu
ZT17 (June 2014) - Full Content Listing

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Victoria Falls Destination Profile