Completion of an international airport at Nacala in Mozambique’s Nampula Province, is expected in November.
Sandra Ganâncio of the Commercial Directorate of Airports Mozambique, told Tourism Update that as yet it was not possible to specify when the airport would receive its first international services but domestic flights would start in November and regional airlines would commence services in the first quarter of 2015.
Formerly a military airfield, the airport is 200km from the provincial capital of Nampula, 500km from the Tanzanian border, 1 800km from the South African border and 620km for the eastern Malawian border. The Nacala Development Corridor links Nampula to Malawi and Zambia by road.
Nacala’s position on the coast and the existence of a deep-water port here (the third-largest on the east coast of Africa), make it a strategic hub for the country’s development and that of Southern Africa, said Ganancio. It was also conveniently positioned on Asian-Latin American routes, and flying time from the world markets of Asia, the Middle East and Europe was six to seven hours, she said.
The airport will provide access to the north of the country, with its considerable tourism and business potential. Ganâncio said the discovery of hydrocarbon reserves and mineral resources in the location had attracted international investors. Resultant economic projects, along with locations favourable to tourism, were driving an increase in visitor numbers.
“Nacala’s strategic tourist products are sun, sea, sand, ecotourism, culture and sports, among others,” said Ganâncio. “As an exotic tourist destination, investment opportunities and business in the tourism sector are endless, mostly in the construction of hotels, restaurants, water sports, exploitation of marine parks, and more.”
The airport will have a capacity to handle 500 000 passengers annually and its 3 100m runway will be capable of receiving Boeing 747-400s. The passenger terminal will house 16 check-in counters, 16 passport desks, four departure and four arrival gates, two departure and two arrival lounges. The cargo terminal will have capacity for 4 600 tonnes a year.
The new airport will make access to sites such as Ilha de Mozambique, the Gorongosa National Park and the Quirimbas Islands more convenient.
From : Tourism Update
23 July 2014