The Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) has attributed delays to finalise rehabilitation of the terminal building at Chileka International Airport in Blantyre to poor funding.
Rehabilitation works at Chileka started in 2010 and the facility was scheduled to be completed by February 2013, according to the then minister of Transport and Public Works Mohammed Sidk Mia.
Speaking in an interview yesterday, DCA chief aerodrome engineer Oxford Mutambo said the project was supposed to be finalised in one year, but it has gone beyond schedule because of poor funding levels.
He said the rehabilitation stalled because government still owes the contractor about K126 million.
He added that currently, government is trying to pay for work already done before the rehabilitation resumes.
Said Mutambo: “For the whole of this year  and part of last year, the project had only one tranche of funding of about K20 million so as time goes, other factors like inflation come into play.”
He said the delay in rehabilitation of the facility has caused heavy congestion on the temporal routes which are being used currently.
He said the airport is in serious need of the passenger terminal, especially the ground floor to ease congestion caused by an increase in traffic following extension of services to Chileka by Kenya Airways and Ethiopian Airlines to join South African Airways and Malawian Airlines.
Last year, former president Joyce Banda announced plans to demolish Chileka International Airport to pave way for a modern airport.
Mutambo said the modern airport project is still a concept and there are a lot of processes that need to be done for the project to start.