Minister of Transport and Public Works Ulemu Chilapondwa has said plans to construct an all-new and modern Chileka International Airport in Blantyre are on course.
Speaking in an interview with the Malawi News Agency (Mana), Chilapondwa said the contractor for the project has already been identified.
Said the minister: “The project involves extension of terminal buildings and to re-develop Chileka into a regional hub capable of handling larger aircraft and increased movements. Among the project’s goals include the construction of a new terminal as well as the lengthening of runway.
“Come second week of April, we shall finalise everything. The meeting with international donors shall be chaired by Minister of Finance Maxwell Mkwezalamba.”
Chilapondwa said once the new airport is done, congestion and lack of enough space in the VIP lounge will be history.
The new initiative is a brainchild of President Joyce Banda who thought it wise to embark on construction of a new international standard airport.
Speaking during a development rally at Chileka in Blantyre recently, Banda said that government has already identified financial resources for the project.
She said the aviation sector is expected to get a major boost following plans by her government to embark on the construction of a new Chileka International Airport in Blantyre.
“The project will also encompass the construction of a modern shopping mall around the airport.
“The new airport is expected to ease some of the challenges which the travelling public have been worrying about due to the dilapidated state of infrastructure at the current airport,” she said.
SkyLinks Travel Bureau manager, Beswell Banda, expressed hope that once the new airport has been constructed it should enable some of its clients to bring through Chileka large consignments.
Currently, Chileka Airport is undergoing another facelift.
The airport has seen increased international traffic in recent years with Kenya Airways and Ethiopian Airlines extending their services to Chileka to join South African Airways.