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Last Updated
Tuesday 18 May 2021, 09:46 am.
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Francistown Airport opens-at last

FRANCISTOWN: The long-awaited new-look Francistown Airport has finally been completed and is ready to operate.
By Patricia Edwin
Staff Writer
(GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Francistown Airport opens-at last








Minister of Transport and Communications, Frank Ramsden, briefed the media last week on the completion of the airport at a media tour organised by the Civil Aviation Authority of Botswana (CAAB).

Ramsden said that almost everything was in place. "We took the keys and we will be doing a check list to see what needs to be attended to," he said.

The minister said that the contractors would still be around for the next 12 months to ensure a smooth take-off.  "We have to use it because it has been under construction for a long time," he said.

He explained that the government was trying to increase air traffic within the (Southern African Development Community (SADC) region and beyond.

"We have made agreements with other countries. South Africa Airways (SAA) only stopped on August 7 and it has been replaced by ComAir," he said.

The minister said that the government has made agreements with Kenyan Airways and Emirates. He further started that they wanted the airport to be twice as busy as Sir Seretse Khama International Airport

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because Francistown was the country's second city.

"It is also surrounded by mines to which people come to do business," he added.

Francistown Airport is one of the controversial projects that has taken a long time to complete. Construction work started in July 2008 and was completed only last month. The approved project cost was P562 million.

The Airport project had three packages, including airfield pavements, airfield ground lighting and the terminal building, which has been designed for the traffic forecast up to 2025. The building has Commercially Important Person (CIP) lounges in both the domestic and international departure lounges. It also has a VIP lounge.  The new structure has openings for car rentals, a restaurant, shops and a bank. Botswana Tourism Board office is in the mezzanine floor, in the terminal building.

It has 67 offices and lands a 737 Boeing or an aircraft of equivalent class. The tender for furniture in the information centre, seating area, trolleys and furniture for all offices is yet to be awarded at an estimated P3 million.

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