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Thursday, November 24, 2005

EU Supports Livingstone Airport Extension

Livingstone International Airport runway is undergoing extension and up grading to take on larger aircraft. European Union (EU) has put up 9.6 million Euros to support the phase two rehabilitation project. EU head of delegation Henry Sprietsma said three quarters of the funds would be used on construction of a 700-metre extension and the rest would be for supervision.

Raubex Construction Company Limited (RCCL) a Zambian company has been contracted to carry out the construction that should take 14 months to complete.

RCCL director Joseph Mwewa said that his company would carry out the Livingstone rehabilitation works. The works involve rehabilitation of airfield and ground lighting and the extension of current runway by 700 metres.

Other works were the extension of existing apron to allow more planes to park, the construction of a new asphalt surface taxiway, construction of a new asphalt surface airside and landside circulation road and car park.

RCCL were also contracted to carry out the rehabilitation of existing buildings and creation of new fire escapes. They would also provide bulk water and sewerage infrastructure.

On completion the runway would accommodate long-haul aircrafts, which would induce more flights to Livingstone and more passengers, oh and tourists yoo!.

Sprietsma said, "The extension of the runway will bring more business opportunities for airline companies, transport-related service providers, for the hotel and tourism sector and other economic sectors."

National Airports Corporation (NAC) managing director Chileshe Kapwepwe said the rehabilitation works would lengthen Livingstone airport’s runway from 2.3 kilometres to 3.0 kilometres in order to accept direct tourists flights from Europe and other parts of the world. Larger aircraft will be able to land easily and the Victoria Falls will be a short single ‘plane hope’. No more connection flights for Zambia safari!


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