As part of the ongoing expansion and rehabilitation works at Kamuzu International Airport (KIA) terminal building, the airport is set to get new surveillance equipment since the previous one broke down in 2 000.
The high cost of the equipment made it difficult for it to be replaced as it was last quoted at K 750 million in 2009.
Japanese Marubeni Protechs chief consultant Takao Yamaguchi said they intend to put in place secondary surveillance radar equipment and automatic dependence surveillance broadcast mode equipment.
He said this on Monday in Lilongwe when the contractors took journalists on a tour of the site to appreciate the progress that has been made so far on the project financed by Japan and Malawi through Airport Development Limited and Department of Civil Aviation.
“It was not so much of a problem in terms of any risks. The equipment which we would provide under this project would enable aircrafts to be seen by the controller and other aircrafts in the vicinity which will enhance separation and safety,” Yamaguchi said.
He said the expansion phase of the project will see the construction of a new arrival wing, a new departure wing and a new domestic terminal while the terminal will be rehabilitated.
“We intend to install an X-ray scanner for checked and carry-on baggage, metal detector gate, portable metal detector, aerial work platform plus CCTV system which will also enhance the security of the terminal,” Yamaguchi said.
He also said at the moment, the capacity of the terminal is too small to accommodate passengers from three aircrafts which arrive at the same time from South Africa, Kenya and Ethiopia, resulting in the space being congested.
In his remarks, ADL chief executive officer Rodrick Chataika said the rehabilitation work will result in doubling of available space and increasing the airport’s capacity to handle more aircrafts.
“This entails that we would now meet international standards in terms of safety and security while at the same time increasing the space that we can handle more passengers. The current space has limitations on the number of aircrafts it can handle and number of passengers.
“The arrival hall will be expanded, it will have more parking car cells, the immigration counters will be more than the current ones, and the check-in counters will be pushed backwards, thereby increasing in number as well. The congestion will be less and the movement of the passengers will be quick,” he narrated.
KIA was constructed 35 years ago, as such, the buildings at the airport have severely deteriorated, requiring major rehabilitation. n