New KIA terminals to improve efficiency

The newly-constructed Kamuzu International Airport (KIA) terminals by the Japanese Government will improve efficiency at the airport, Airport Development Limited (ADL) chief executive officer Rhoda Gomani Misomali has said.

Speaking in an interview yesterday, she said the airport, which currently processes up to 50 travellers per hour, will now serve 500 people per hour.

Chinsinga (L) and Tanaka shake hands during the handover

Said Misomali: “Currently, we process between 30 and 50 passengers per hour but when the three terminals are in full use,  we will increase the numbers up to 500 passengers per hour, which is a substantial leap.”

She was speaking on the sidelines of a handover of the terminals project from the contractor Marubeni Protechs to Malawi Government.

Misonali said the improved efficiency may improve travellers satisfaction, thereby increase travellers into Malawi.

Ministry of Transport and Public Works Principal Secretary Francis Chinsinga said the terminals handover is timely as the old building, which was launched in 1983, had become “structurally tired and inadequate with regard to passenger handling both in terms of space and failing equipment.”

The old terminal had one baggage conveyor and a few cubicles for passport control, which led to delays for both arrivals and departures.

Said Chinsinga: “We will now have the privilege of separating our international departures from international arrivals; we have also dedicated a terminal to domestic passengers.”

Marubeni Protechs general manager Yasuhiro Tanaka said it has taken them two years to complete the three terminals, which was the main phase of the project.

He said: “We are now moving into the second phase of the project, which is renovation of the old terminal building to turn it into shops and offices.”

Tanaka said the second phase will not take over 12 months.

At the beginning of the project, the Japanese Government installed new radar equipment, replacing the old and obsolete equipment which hardly served its purpose.

The Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica) in 2017 provided a $35 million (about K26 billion) grant for the rehabilitation and upgrading as well as improvement of radar surveillance system of the airport.

The grant came as a relief to government as it has been agonising over how to beat the International Civil Aviation Organisation 2020 deadline to have the country’s largest airport refurbished or risk being blacklisted.

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