Airport Developments Limited (ADL), a commercial parastatal owned by the Government of Malawi, has said all is set for the launch of the Likoma Island Airport upgrade works later this month.
ADL chief executive officer (CEO) Rodrick Chattaika, speaking in an interview on Thursday, said the airport, once renovated and upgraded, has potential to woo many tourists to the Island which is isolated from the mainland due to unreliable water transport network.
“It’s true I can confirm that we will launch the Likoma Island International Airport [ugrade works] later this month [November]. This is a milestone in the sense that it will attract more tourists who will bring money to enhance our economy,” said Chattaika.
In an earlier interview with Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism’s director of tourism Isaac Katopola, he said turning Likoma Island Airport into an international airport will spur tourism growth as the airport is the third busiest in Malawi after Kamuzu and Chileka airports and the move will mean big aircrafts will be landing there.
Under the Public Service Reforms Programme (PSRP) being championed by by Vice- President Saulos Chilima, government approved that ADL should now be managing Likoma Island Airport and that it should be transformed into an Airports Company responsible for all the country’s major airports.
The approved reforms also included introduction of new revenue streams such as automated car parks, airport development fees and retention of passengers’ service fees.
According to Chattaika, the automation of the car parks, which started last year, has increased the ADL’s revenue by over 50 percent and it is such funds that have been instrumental in the expansion of the Likoma Island Airport.
“The automation system has seen monthly revenues jump from K1.2 million to K5.6 million and at times reaching K7 million.” he said. n