Joseph Madzimure Senior Reporter
THE US$153 million Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport expansion project is on course despite delays caused by the Covid-19 pandemic with the contractor Jiangsu International of China having completed 27 percent of the work.
Expansion will see the construction of the international terminal building and aprons, installation of four new bridges, a secondary radar system, construction of a VVIP pavilion and an airfield ground lighting and communication system.
The international terminal building and the domestic terminal building will also be refurbished, with the project increasing the airport’s holding capacity to six million people per annum from 2.5 million.
Modernisation of the airport is in line with Government’s thrust to rehabilitate aviation infrastructure across the country as it seeks to attract more international airlines and visitors.
All the raw materials required for the project are already on site. However, the contractor has had to cut down on the number of employees on site from 500 to 100 due to limited accommodation for the workers.
Speaking after the tour of RGM International Airport expansion project, Minister of State for Presidential Affairs and Monitoring Implementation of Government Programmes, Dr Joram Gumbo said he was pleased with the progress.
He commended the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development for the continued implementation of the project during the fifth cycle, despite the negative effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“In the past, the implementation of Government programmes has been hindered by various sector performance deficiencies. In a bid to address these anomalies associated with project implementation, Government adopted the 100-day target based programme to expedite project implementation.
“The adoption of the programme therefore, symbolises commitment by Government to expeditious implementation of projects for the benefit of our citizens,” he said.
He said the rapid results approach was yielding positive results and contributing to an improvement in the livelihoods of the people.
“It is our expectation that the programme will lead to the realisation of developmental goals as set out in the Transitional Stabilisation Programme and subsequently, the attainment of Vision 2030 through close monitoring and evaluation of priority projects by Government,” said Minister Gumbo.
The Covid-19 pandemic had resulted in serious economic consequences and all sectors had been affected.