Government has acknowledged the critical role that air transportation plays in the economy of the country noting that it contributes towards tourism, trade, investment and the travel industry.
For the past 10 years, efforts have been made to refurbish the four major airports in the country, which include Sir Seretse Khama International Airport, Maun International Airport, Francistown International Airport with the latest being the Kasane International Airport.
Speaking at the commissioning of the Kasane airport recently, President Ian Khama said that government has deliberately decided to invest substantially in the development and improvement of the airports and other related infrastructure including suitable aircraft investments.
“This should help grow the tourism industry, which happens to be the second revenue earner for this country. I urge the ministries of Transport and Communication and Environment, Natural Resources Conservation and Tourism to work hand-in-hand in promoting and marketing our aviation industry so that we can attract more major players to utilise our airports,” he said.
The President said that Botswana has in the recent past realised increased volumes and traffic movements, which reflected that there is still potential for growth where Batswana can benefit immensely.
The just-completed construction and refurbishment of the Kasane airport included
The new terminal building measures 7,800sq metres as compared to the original one, which measured 1,300sq metres. Construction works, including the refurbishment of the old terminal building and its integration into the new one, started in November 2014.
Refurbishment started with airside works, which constituted the extension of the runway from 2,000m to 3,000m as well as widening of the runway and the provision of an airfield ground lighting system to facilitate night operations and the provision of automated weather observation systems.
According Khama, Kasane Airport provides access to one of the country’s pristine tourism regions and continues the government’s drive to deliver improved infrastructure to meet passenger demands into and out of the country.
He said Kasane is one of Southern Africa’s tourism destinations providing access to the Chobe National Park and Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe and Zambia.