Members of Parliament (MPs) yesterday authorised government to borrow K14 billion from the European Investment Bank (EIB) for the upgrading of aviation safety and security equipment at Kamuzu and Chileka International airports.
The Loan Authorisation Bill was earlier rejected in the last sitting of Parliament because some MPs felt there was lack of information that the projects were duplicating.
The Bill was then referred to the committee stage which assessed the status of the aviation safety and security equipment at both Kamuzu International in Lilongwe and Chileka in Blantyre.
The checks included voltage distribution and electrical system, runway lighting, fire fighting and rescue services, and communication and navigation system.
Reads the report on the review: “The communication and navigation equipment was found to be old and obsolete and in need of replacement. It was, therefore, recommended [that] the aeronautical message handling system, interface unit be provided to ensure rapid and direct data messages.”
In an interview after Parliament adjourned, Minister of Transport and Public Works Francis Kasaila said the Bill should have been passed in the last sitting.
He said: “As you are well aware, this Loan Authorisation Bill will help Malawi to further rehabilitate and modernise its airports in line with the required international standards. The delay [to pass it] had caused a bit of a hitch because the donors came for the signing of the loan, but could not because Parliament had rejected the Bill.”
The minister said government will begin the renovations as soon as the Bill has been signed. n