RELOCATING the Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe International Airport in Ndola from its present location requires US$580 million, Transport, Works, Supply and Communications Minister Yamfwa Mukanga has said.
Mr Mukanga said the Government has already opened talks with possible financiers for the project which is expected to start as soon as the funds were sourced.
He said it was necessary to shift the airport to another location as such facilities required enough room for expansion to accommodate more air traffic.
Mr Mukanga said Government had initially planned to expand the runway at the airport but this could not be possible due the presence of cement factories in close proximity.
“The Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe airport ought to be relocated because it is impossible to expand its capacity owing to the cement factories around.
So, dialogue has been opened with possible financiers and we are looking at several available options to help us implement the project in good time,” Mr Mukanga said.
In a related development, Mr Mukanga said Government was closely monitoring rehabilitation works at Kasaba Bay International airport in the Northern circuit.
He said the Government was concerned that the rehabilitation works had taken longer than projected but an amicable solution would be found to resolve any pending issues.
Mr Mukanga also said significant progress has been made towards the construction of a new terminal at Mansa airport in Luapula Province at a cost of K 19 million.
The improved facility would promote the use of quality infrastructure that enables the aviation sector to contribute more revenue to the national treasury.