President Peter Mutharika has said investment in the country’s aviation industry can stimulate Malawi’s economic growth.
Mutharika said this on Saturday at Chikoko Bay in Mangochi where he had an audience with the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) delegation.
He said his government is committed to the aviation industry and plans to construct a modern international airport in Mangochi.
“Mangochi has a beautiful lake. It is already a serious tourist destination and can be a potential great city if an international airport of repute can be constructed,” explained Mutharika.
He further said Lake Malawi is a unique tourist destination in the world, hence, the need for a modern airport to open it to the rest of the world.
Mutharika said government is currently upgrading Mzuzu and Chileka airports and expanding Kamuzu International Airport in Lilongwe.
“We want to turn Malawi from being a landlocked country to an air-linked country. Above all, we are making sure that we continue complying with the Standards and Recommended Practices of ICAO.
“This is why we are doing everything possible to reverse the issues in the 2009 audit about Malawi which revealed a high level of Lack of Effective Implementation (LEI) of 66 percent of the eight Critical Elements [CEs],” he said.
Mutharika also disclosed that government has reviewed the Primary Aviation Legislation, and will table the same in this coming parliamentary sitting slated for June as one way of showing commitment towards the industry.
He said Malawi government decided to establish an autonomous Civil Aviation Authority to regulate the aviation sector, and “a draft legislation is already before Parliament and we will ensure it is passed soon”.
The President, however, appealed for financial support from partners, imploring ICAO to help in identifying donors.
In his remarks, ICAO president Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu commended Malawi for the path government has taken to improve the aviation industry in the country.
He promised to support Malawi to realise its dream in the aviation industry. n