The new Chinese-built international airport terminal at Victoria Falls was officially commissioned by President Robert Mugabe on Friday 18th November 2016, at a ceremony attended by official dignitaries and members of the tourism industry.
The airport now has the capacity to handle 1.5 million passengers per annum, tripling its previous volume, and is capable of landing some of the world’s largest aircraft. It has also been built so that it can be expanded to accommodate rising tourist numbers if necessary.
The airport features a 4km runway, a state of the art control tower, which is one of the most advanced in Africa, and a fire station, equipped to respond to fire and medical emergencies.
Facilities at the international terminal include 14 check-in counters, 9 boarding gates, three baggage carousels, a dozen shops, two restaurants, 28 aircraft parking bays and parking facilities for 400 vehicles.
The previous aiport has been rehabilitated into a domestic terminal, featuring six check-in counters, two passenger security screening facilities, one restaurant and three coffee shops, eight other shops and a business class lounge.
Africa Albida Tourism (AAT) chief executive Ross Kennedy said: “The positive impact of the new Victoria Falls International Airport will be very significant and should take the destination and region to a new level in terms of arrivals.
The socio-economic benefits will be widespread as increased and new access drives the tourism sector’s growth with arrivals from additional source markets”.
Mr Kennedy also reported that interest in the new Victoria Falls International Airport at the World Travel Market, travel trade show held in London in November was high: “I met with many tour operators, media and airlines at the show, and I can confirm that the interest is very high and that the travel industry is excited by the opening of the new Victoria Falls International Airport."