Mozambique bets big with new airport

Mozambique will build a new international airport to increase economic development and growth.

A new $102 million airport in Mozambique is to be built in the northern city Nacala to further expand infrastructure to attract tourists and investment, an official said Thursday.

Deputy Transport Minister Manuela Ribelo confirmed that construction has already started on the Nacala International Airport, which is bein built in place of a military base.

The airport is said to facilitate travel to a key city in the north of the country which is somehwat undeveloped. Housing Mozambique’s only deepwater port, Nacala will serve as an export centre for neighbouring countries such as Zambia and Malawi once a railway is built to connect them to the city.

Mozambique are currently focusing on improving infrastructure, with President Armando Guebuza opening a new passenger and cargo terminal at Vilankulo airport in the south of the country.

Close to the Indian Ocean Bazaruto Islands, Vilankulo is a popular city with tourists, prompting a $10m revamp of its airport. Its capacity has now trebled so it can accommodate 200,000 passengers a year according to local reports.

The country’s busiest airport, Maputo International Airport, was boosted by a $75m cash injection last year to accommodate 900,000 travellers annually, while a new domestic terminal is under construction there, too.

General aviation is often overlooked as a source of economic growth.  There is an old aviation saying that says:  “A mile of highway gets you one mile, but a mile of runway can take you anywhere'”.  Airports support business development in many ways like highways and railroads do.  Aviation activities bring business.  Aviation encourages business growth and expansion especially in areas where commercial airlines don’t have regularly scheduled flights.  Aviation is crucial to many companies because, through aviation, materials, workers and a wide variety of consumers are all within reach.

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