Govt to continue expanding aviation sector Aircraft Ground Services (AGS) commissioned new equipment at the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport in Harare yesterday

Freeman Razemba Senior Reporter

The aviation sector is being expanded by Government by increasing connectivity not only in Africa but to the rest of the world in line with the target to transform Zimbabwe into an empowered and prosperous upper-middle income economy by 2030, Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Felix Mhona said yesterday.

According to Government, the aesthetic glamour and splendour of the airports and equipment used has to be of first class status to attract tourists and improve the movement of people and goods in a more cost effective and beneficial way.

Speaking at the commissioning of the Aviation Ground Services passenger handling equipment in Harare, Minister Mhona said the Second Republic embarked on an ambitious programme to upgrade and modernise the national aviation infrastructure and services, a thrust that has seen the country undertaking a comprehensive expansion and modernisation covering its large international airports.

“It is said that the airport, as an entry point into our country, provides the ‘moment of truth’ on any visitor’s mind, and as such I am pleased to note that our aviation sector is pulling out all the stops in making our visitors leave with a very positive impression about our country.

“The Second Republic embarked on an ambitious programme to upgrade and modernise our national aviation infrastructure and services; a thrust that has seen the country undertaking a comprehensive expansion and modernisation covering our large international airports.

“The scope of undertaking such a programme includes the upgrading and expansion of passenger terminal building and airside infrastructure at the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport in order to enhance the level and quality of service experience for our traveling public,” he said, in a speech read on his behalf by the chief director in the ministry, Dr Loveness Masuka-Dumwa.

Minister Mhona said the modernisation also encompassed installation of communications, navigation and surveillance systems geared towards improving flight safety and operations in the national airspace.

“Our visionary and iconic Leader, His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, Cde, Dr. E.D. Mnangagwa, has impressed upon us all that in whatever we do we should do it with the people in mind. This is undertaken in line with his guiding philosophy of ‘leaving no one and no place behind’. “The underlying theme of this philosophy is also illustrated by his illuminating mantra of a Zimbabwe which is open for business and in accordance with his call that “nyika inovakwa nevene vayo.”

It is in this spirit that I take this opportunity to reassert that the Ministry is committed to providing an enabling environment for private sector participation in the development of our infrastructure.

“This is borne out of the realisation that a robust airport infrastructure is pivotal to the economic growth of our country and requires the participation of all citizens,” he said.

Zimbabwe was well placed to take advantage and benefit from regional integration and globalisation; as such, if all pulled together they could derive immense benefits for the nation and hence realise their Vision.

“Initiatives such as the one we are witnessing today go a long a way in us realising our vision through making destination Zimbabwe marketable and profitable for all in the aviation sector and the downstream industries.

“It therefore behoves on us to be aware and take advantage of our location in order to build a transportation hub, with Harare emerging as the centre,” Minister Mhona said.

He urged all in the aviation sector to show a spirit of cooperation and collaboration as they go along doing business.

AGS station manager Mr Darlington Ruombwa said since 2001, when they initially handled the country’s aviation cargo need, they had risen to become the country’s largest freight handler, with over 75 percent market share.

Ground handling was the lubricant that kept the air transport industry running smoothly, and they had played a role in ensuring effective freight flow in and out of the country for the past 22 years.

As part of their commitment to improving efficiency in Zimbabwe’s ground handling industry, they had already supplied adequate equipment to all five airports in the country while their passenger division has also hired more than 200 people.

“The Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure Development has been extremely supportive, and the relevant parastatals within the Ministry, namely the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe, our regulator, and the landlord Airports Company of Zimbabwe, deserve a round of applause for their contributions to the growth of this industry and the eventual licencing of AGS in passenger handling,” he said.

The event was attended by AGS board chairman Mr Musekiwa Kumbula, AGS managing director Mr Caleb Mudyawabikwa, officials from various airlines and Government officials.

You Might Also Like