Wednesday, April 17, 2013

■ MALAWI: Government planning to build new international airport to replace Blantyre's Chileka.

MalawiThe Malawian Government has announced plans to construct a new international airport in Blantyre, the country's economic hub, to replace the current Chileka International Airport. The project, amongst others, will form part of the country's ongoing economic recovery plan (ERP).

Malawi Minister of Transport and Public Infrastructure, Muhammad Sidik Mia, said land has already been identified with construction planned to begin later this year. Additionally, China has expressed interest in building a new terminal at Chileka:
"Land has already been identified at the airport and China has also expressed interest to construct the state-of-the art international terminal at Chileka," he said. He, however, could not be drawn to disclose how much the project will be worth. "That will be disclosed very soon but funding for the project is promising and we are positive that the project will take off any time this year," he said.
Source [Daily Times]

Chileka International Airport Terminal (DMulhern)
Opened in 1933 by the then British colonial authorities and the country's sole international gateway until the opening of Lilongwe's Kamuzu International Airport in 1977, Chileka is currently undergoing a much needed upgrade estimated to cost USD1.2million (MWK490billion). At present time, the airport sees service from South African Airways (SA), Kenya Airways (KQ) and Ethiopian Airlines (ET), with the latter in the final stages of setting up a rejuvenated Air Malawi (QM), which, it is hoped, will re-establish Blantyre as a regional hub.

Amongst other infrastructural projects urgently in need of attention under the ERP is the relocation of the current airport in Mzuzu, Northern Region, said to pose a threat to the safety of residents in the city owing to its proximity to the city centre.