NATIONAL Airports Corporation Limited (NACL) has set August 1, 2013 as completion date for all major works at the new ultra-modern Harry Mwaanga International Airport that has gobbled about K150 million.
Company managing director Robinson Misitala said from August 1 to 7, 2013, airlines will start testing works at the new terminal building.
Mr Misitala said this in Livingstone when Zambia Daily Mail, deputy managing director Anthony Mukwita toured the new building under construction.
“We have set August as the completion date for all major works. If there are any works involved after these, it will just be the cleaning-up and a few final touches,” he said.
Mr Misitala said effective August 10, 2013, all the airlines will be expected to have moved to the new terminal for their daily operations.
The commercial spaces in the concourse are almost ready with glass fitting while the seats in the departure lounges will be fixed this week.
He said NACL management had meetings with banks, bureaux and all the commercial operators that will be operating at the new terminal to be ready for business.
He said the new terminal will have 12 check-in counters from the existing six, and the airlines will use a common user check-in terminal to reduce on passenger traffic.
The walls in the arrival hall, immigration and departure international lounges have been decorated with Siavonga stone for the structure to maintain the “random act of natural building”.
The terminal will have four exit gates, four business lounges including a government VIP lounge and some water feature.
All the duty-free stores in the departure lounge have been taken. The drop-in and keep-up zone will have a water feature of the mini-Victoria Falls and a three metre bronze statue of Harry Mwaanga Nkumbula in front of the terminal building with some greens.
Mr Misitala said the new terminal will now be able to handle about one million passengers per annum as opposed to the current 250,000.
He said the international airport is positioned to handle long-haul flights and it will be very competitive with other similar facilities in the region.
The runway at Harry Mwaanga Nkumbula International Airport has been extended to three kilometres from 2.3 kilometres to allow for the size of a 767 Boeing aircraft to land.
Mr Misitala said works at the new terminal are anticipated to be completed in time for the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO).
The construction of the new terminal at Harry Mwaanga International Airport started on August 17, 2010 before Zambia won the bid to co-host the UNWTO.