Malawi government has announced that construction works for the new Mzuzu International Airport will start in November.
Principal secretary in the ministry of transport and public works Francis Chinsinga disclosed this on Thursday when President Peter Mutharika visited the construction site at Lusangazi in the city.
The principal secretary told the president that the total size of the land earmarked for the airport is 230 hectares; but for a start, about 90 hectares of land will be used.
“This piece of land (90 hectares) is enough for two runway lines of about two kilometres long and with associated structures such as the terminal and some buildings comprising the VIP departure and arrivals lounge.
“If all is done and well managed, the construction works will take 18 months to complete. We are looking at an airport slightly smaller than Chileka Airport in terms of structures, but this airport will be able to accommodate aircrafts of 70 passengers on board,” he said.
Chinsinga said after using the 90 hectares of the land, the remaining part will be used for the extension of the airport in the near future so that it also accommodates big aircrafts.
Government hopes that once completed, the Mzuzu International Airport will boost the tourism industry in the northern region, especially, at Nyika National Park and Likoma Island.
The site is 10.5 kilometres from Mzuzu Central Business District (CBD) and about three kilometres from Lusangazi Roadblock to the west.
The project is being funded by Exim Bank of China to the tune of U$20 million (approximately K14.6 billion).