The permanent secretary in the Ministry of Transport and Communications Neil Fitt says renovations at the Maun International Airport ÔÇô which is the busiest airport, will be complete by 2021.
The announcement comes on the backdrop of the Transport and Infrastructure Statistics for Quarter 1 of 2016 which was compiled by Statistics Botswana and revealed that, “The busiest airport in Q1, 2016 was Maun airport with 54.8 percent of the total aircraft movements. Gaborone came second with 28.2 percent.”
Fitt said this at the aviation pitso which was recently held in Maun, adding that the Civil Aviation Authority of Botswana (CAAB) is renovating the airport as part of a decongestion exercise.
Addressing the pitso, which is a forum where private sector engages government to improve the aviation industry, Fitt reiterated that part of the short-term developments at the tourist hot spot include renovating the existing terminal by combining the domestic and international departure lounges to make one big international lounge.
At the pitso which was held under the theme “celebrating aviation: the next economic frontier” the Chief Executive Officer of Hospitality and Tourism Association Botswana (HATAB) Lily Rakorong expressed concern over the way the airport was becoming increasingly congested. She also said there is need to come up with a quick solution to address the fiasco as it has ripple effects on the aviation and tourism industry. In clear cut terms, she stated that the transport sector and tourism were uniquely and mutually involved.
Amongst other things, Rakorong urged for the liberalisation of the air space which she says would lead to better and superior service delivery.
Wilderness Air Botswana General Manager Alex Henderson delivered the keynote address and said there is great need for local airports to improve and become international hubs, citing examples from the Middle-East and Asia-Pacific region as well as regional airports like Livingstone and Victoria Falls in Zambia and Zimbabwe respectively.