In a bid to reduce congestion at Botswana’s busiest airport, the Civil Aviation Authority of Botswana (CAAB) says Maun airport is currently being renovated as part of a decongestion exercise. The renovations are expected to 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”.
According to Maun Airport Manager Larona Mokete, the airport often experiences congestion problems as it sometimes records a surge in the number of tourists visiting the area. He said this has necessiated the terminal building to undergo a decongestion exercise so that it can better accommodate more visitors.
Whilst he could not disclose the total cost for the de-congestion exercise, Mokete said Colic Construction and Development completed construction of the air traffic control tower and technical block at the tune of P86 680 000.
He also revealed that the Civil Aviation Authority Botswana (CAAB) and the government are in negotiations to renovate the existing terminal by combining the domestic and international departure lounges to make one big international lounge.
In the first quarter of 2016, Maun handled mostly domestic traffic, accounting for 92.1 percent of total traffic in Maun Airport. According to Stastics Botswana, Maun recorded the highest number of Domestic movements constituting 45.4 percent of the total Domestic movements. Gaborone recorded the highest number of the International passenger movements, constituting 77.2 percent of the total International movements”.
The Maun International Airport (MIA) also plays a significant role transporting tourists who visit Maun en route the Okavango Delta and other tourist destinations.