RGM airport expansion game changer Minister Matiza

Tendai Mugabe Senior Reporter

The Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport will have a carrying capacity of 6 million people upon completion of the current expansion drive and Government has challenged ground services companies to be ready to offer quality and international service to the travelling public.

In this regard, Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Joel Biggie Matiza, hailed the Aviation Ground Services — a wholly Zimbabwean firm for measuring up to the task by offering world class services at the International Airport.

Annually, AGS handles more than 9 million tonnes of air freight mainly fresh produce into the European market.

The company boasts modern handling equipment that saw it winning several international awards in ground handling and warehousing services.

Speaking after touring the AGS facilities at the RGM airport in Harare recently, Minister Matiza said Government was repositioning the airport to make it a regional hub in line with President Mnangagwa’s mantra that “Zimbabwe is Open for Business.”

He said AGS’s operations at the RGM airport dovetailed with Government programmes as they had demonstrated unparalleled professionalism in ground handling and warehousing services.

“This is truly gratifying for the Government to see the impeccable ground services operations here at AGS as we reposition the RGMI airport to be a competitive regional hub that will handle all types of aircraft, cargo and offer complimentary ground and passenger services,” said Minister Matiza.

“Upon completion, this airport will handle 6 million people per annum. I am happy that what AGS is doing dovetailed into the Ministry’s key programmes. I was impressed by the ground services equipment that I have seen at AGS. It is well maintained and readily available to assist any challenges that may be faced here at the RGMI airport.”

Minister Matiza said the efforts by AGS espoused Government’s call for public private partnerships to accelerate economic growth.

He said it was pleasing to note that AGS with the guidance of the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe recently got an RA3 validation that allowed it to screen cargo at its premises for upliftment by air to markets in the European Union.

AGS chairman Mr Musekiwa Kumbula, said his company was ready to compliment Government efforts to attain an upper middle income economy by 2030 as enunciated by President Mnangagwa.

Mr Musekiwa Kumbula

Said Mr Kumbula: “We are ready to contribute to a competitive aviation industry that can contribute to the attainment of an upper middle income economy in line with Vision 2030.

“In line with our expansion vision, we want to ensure that we have our footprint at other airports in the country. With the support that we continue to receive from Government through the CAAZ and airport authorities, I am confident that together we can build a robust aviation industry we all want.”

AGS managing director Mr Caleb Mudyawakiwa, said: “As a company we have the capacity and resources to undertake all ground handling services at our airports. Our vision is to become an international market offering our services to other countries starting with our neighbours.

There is no need for Government to look for foreign investors in this sector because we have the capacity as local companies.”

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