The aviation industry is important to the country’s economic growth and the government will continue supporting it as it was pivotal to trade, tourism and regional growth, Transport minister Joram Gumbo said yesterday.

BY MTHANDAZO NYONI

In a speech read on his behalf by the permanent secretary in his ministry, George Mlilo, Gumbo said the refurbishment of the sewer system at the Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo International Airport in Bulawayo would go a long way in meeting the expectations of visitors.

“The government recognises that air transport is pivotal to the economic growth of our country, as it facilitates trade, tourism and regional integration, through improving the movement of people and goods in a more cost effective way,” he said.

“It is, therefore, evident that refurbished aviation infrastructure has the greatest potential to spur economic growth in our country.”

Gumbo said the government will continue supporting the aviation industry given its strategic importance to national development.

The Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe (CAAZ) yesterday commissioned its new sewer system at the JM Nkomo International Airport built at a cost of $1,2 million to ensure the airport maintains world class standards.

Giving his welcome remarks at the ceremony, CAAZ board chairman, Thembinkosi Magwaliba said the project was wholly funded by internal resources from the aviation authority.

“We did not have to burden the fiscus and we did not apply for a loan and the total cost was in excess of $1,2 million,” he said.

“The facility has the capacity to cater for both our present and future needs as an airport, the airport village and other facilities around the airport.

“We are cognisant of other projects that we need to undertake at this particular airport, including upgrading our runway and particularly constructing a new traffic control tower.

“We shall put in place the necessary arrangements to undertake those projects much as we have with the current project.”