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Maun Airport extension project almost complete

MEDIA TOUR: Nkwe addressing journalists

The first phase of the terminal renovation project at Maun International Airport is nearing completion, with the contractor- Stefannuti Stocks Botswana, remaining only with finishing touches before handing it over to the government through Botswana Civil Aviation Authority of Botswana (CAAB).

The project coordinator, Mark Skelton of Royal Haskoning DHV consultancy told the media on Friday that the project will be completed by end on this month, November.

He added that, however, the main entrance lobby will only be completed in March next year. “The construction project started at the end of April 2019. The original scope of work will be completed on 28th November 2020 and the new entrance lobby, which is additional work, will be completed in March 2021.”

Skelton was leading a media tour of the renovated airport on Friday to showcase what the new project has achieved.

Among the results of the renovation is a new paved parking space, separation of domestic and international ports for security screening and boarding gates, enlarged departure halls, increased number of check-in counters, provision of meet and greet areas, improved flight information displays and refreshment vendor spaces within the terminal building.

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“Surveillance cameras have also been installed all over the terminal building,” added Skelton.

Before the renovation, the airport was not only smaller but it also lacked the basics such as a Public Address system (PA), no refreshment vendoring, interrupted water supply, no baggage collection area for domestic flights and no clear distinction between the concourse and check-in, for instance.

But now that the renovation has brought the airport to international standards, CAAB’s Public Relations and Communications officer, Modipe Chris Nkwe, says they will soon work on another master plan for the airport.

“Maun international airport is one of the busiest airports in the Southern African region. Most of the air traffic into and out of Maun consists of light aircraft which fly in from the Okavango Delta. This is the first phase of the renovation but as we know the economy grows and the need changes, so we have to come up with another plan for the future of this airport,” Nkwe noted.

He further explained that on average, six-light aircraft are generated at Maun from the arrival of every scheduled aircraft at the airport and thus making it a busy runway.

The multi-million Pula project was initially budgeted for P120,7 million but has since been estimated to have gone up to P138,5 million by the time of completion.

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With the outbreak of COVID-19 early this year the work stopped for about three months.

On a positive note, the outbreak reportedly allowed rapid progress when works resumed in June 2020 because of the lack of air traffic.