Gerald Kampanikiza, News Reporter
BLANTYRE – Ministry of Transport and Public Works official Kelvin Sato has appealed to all journalists to always endeavour to report facts and avoid insinuations and sensationalism after a new Malawi airport story made headlines.
It follows an article published by some local media outlets on their online platforms regarding the demolishing of Chileka International Airport in the month of June, 2022 to pave way for construction of a new airport which according to the Ministry is a gross misrepresentation of what the minister said.
In a statement released by the Ministry’s public relations officer Sato, the Minister acknowledged that Chileka Airport was in a deplorable state and needed serious remedial interventions and not the rehabilitation works, which in any case, had failed to lift the airport’s face.
“He indicated that a consultant was working on developing a Master plan for the airport which would be completed by June 2022,” Sato said.
He added that the Plan is expected to identify interventions that will uplift the Airport to modern standards and meet projected demand.
“The study for developing the Master Plan has covered all aspects of the airport including an assessment of the terminal buildings, runaways and taxiways, security fence, and control tower among others and the project of developing the Master Plan is being financed through a grant from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA),” he highlighted.
According to Sato, the Minister further highlighted that Government and Development Partners will agree on critical elements to be implemented after the study is completed as such the article posted by Zodiak Online and carried by other online publications should be disregarded.
“Chileka Airport continues to play a critical role in connecting Malawi to the region and the work at large and Government is, therefore, committed to improving the infrastructure at the airport to meet international standard,” he said.