Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president Lazarus Chakwera recently condemned the status of the Chileka International Airport in the country’s commercial city of Blantyre which has prompted President Joyce Banda to react with action of reconstructing the facility.
Chakwera asked government to be serious in developing infrastructural plans such as airports meeting the international standards of the 21st century.
President Banda speaking in Mzimba on Tuesday where she laid a foundation stone for the Jenda-Edingeni Road, said Chileka International Airport will soon be demolished to pave the way for a modern airport.
“I will not sleep until this is done. I don’t like talking about doing something without actually doing it,” she said.
Banda said she wants to see a modern airport at Chileka as part of her commitment to improving air transport.
Chakwera said he has no problem with plans to upgrade Chileka into a modern airport as long as it is not mere lip-service.
Government is already spending million in the facelift of Chileka airport.
The renovation project has so far cost the Malawi government almost half a billion kwacha (MK410, 069, 499) and it is likely that the figures may go up due to devaluation according to Civil Aviation Department Chief Aerodrome Officer, Oxford Mutambo.
As opposed to Kamuzu International Airport (KIA), Chileka international Airport has been lacking international standard facilities which has forced some aircrafts heading for Blantyre to land at KIA a development that has inconvenienced some passengers.
President Banda also said she wants flights to Mzuzu airport to be reintroduced.