Government has given Airport Development Limited (ADL) permission to turn Likoma Aerodrome into an international air base as one way of boosting the tourism sector.
Currently, visitors wishing to go to the island have to land at Kamuzu International Airport (KIA) before connecting to Likoma, a move that is costly.
But in an interview in Lilongwe on Monday, Minister of Transport and Public Works Francis Kasaila said ADL has been given the go ahead to run Likoma Aerodrome as an international airport.
Said Kasaila: “Likoma Aedrome is currently not being fully manned; we need to deploy immigration officers, more police officers and customs officials to check luggages
when visitors land at the airport. There is also need to have more lodging places to make the place more attractive.”
He said the airport will be able to handle direct flights from other countries and this will reduce the time tourists take to land at the airport after connecting from Lilongwe.
Managing director of Essential Tours and Travel, Chris Luwayo, commended government for the action. He said many of his clients have complained about problems they face with the current situation.
“Just last month, over 15 tourists from America failed to go to Likoma because they said they did not find a suitable aeroplane to take them there. If the airport is constructed, it will make travel easy,” he said. n