Nacala air base in Mozambique to be converted to civilian airport

3 November 2009

Nacala, Mozambique, 3 Nov – Restoration and conversion work on the Nacala air base in the Nampula province to make it a civilian international airport could begin in 2010, costing US$120 million, Mozambique’s Transport and Communications minister has announced.

According to Maputo’s Notícias newspaper, the conversion of the air base to a civilian airport has, to some extent, arisen to meet the development demands of the district of Nacala which in recent years has been receiving investment projects, given its new status as special economic zone.

And the newspaper added it was common knowledge that with the carrying out of these planned projects, particularly the installation of an oil refining hub, the region will galvanize a considerable number of people and goods, creating the need to ensure efficient logistics in the transports sector, with aviation playing a key role in this.

“I would like to take this opportunity to announce that everything is being done to ensure that restoration work on the Nacala air base and its conversion to a civilian airport begin next year,” said the minister Paulo Zucula, speaking in Nacala.

According to recent studies, the conversion of the Nacala air base will include building infrastructures such as passenger and cargo terminals, a control tower and runway resurfacing, as well as other work needed for the infrastructure to meet the current demands of the aviation sector.

Once the work is finished, the airport will be able to receive class “D” aircraft, namely Boeing 757s and 767s, and will have the capacity to handle 500,000 to 600,000 passengers per year.

Considering that most tourists come from the Northern hemisphere and the Southern African Development Community (SADC), and given the potential for tourism of the country’s northern area, the government considers Nacala and Pemba airport terminals to be key for the arrival and departure of visitors. (macauhub)