Victoria Falls International Airport (VFIA) is one of the main airports in Zimbabwe. The airport is located 18km away from the town of Victoria Falls and mainly serves the tourism industry, handling long distance flights from the Americas, Europe and Asia. VFIA is operated by the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe.
The airport opened its new international terminal for passengers in December 2015.
Victoria Falls international airport expansion
The Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe initiated a $150m airport expansion project in February 2013 to increase airport’s passenger handling capacity to boost tourism in Victoria Falls. The project included construction of a 4,000m second runway, expansion of the existing runway, construction of a new 20,000m2 terminal building, and the construction of an inside road network and car parks at the airport. It also included the construction of a new fire station and control tower at the airport.
The new international terminal is used for international flights, while the existing terminal is used for domestic purposes. The airport expansion increased its passenger handling capacity to around 1.5 million a year.
The airport expansion project was financed with $150m loan from the Export-Import Bank of China. The Zimbabwean parliament ratified the loan agreement with Export-Import Bank of China.
Construction details of the VFIA expansion
Construction on the expansion project broke ground in April 2013 and was complete by November 2015.
The contract for construction of the new terminal and the second runway was awarded to China Jiangsu International, a Chinese company.
Sir Seretse Khama Airport (SSKA) is the major international airport serving Gaborone, the capital city of Botswana. It is located 15km north of the city, and is accessible through a passage off the Francistown road on the western bypass.
The land required for the new runway and terminal building was acquired, and four new bore wells were also drilled to augment water supplies for the project.
Construction equipment used for the expansion works included two cranes with 37t and 40t capacity, seven compactors, 34 tipper trucks, two low-bed trucks and three graders.
ADB Airfield Solutions was awarded a sub-contract to provide airfield lighting turnkey solutions for the new CAT II airfield.
Vitoria Falls international airport terminal features
The airport currently has two terminal buildings. The facilities at the terminal include aircraft stands, check-in desks, gates and baggage claim belts.
It also has a VIP lounge, restaurants, bars and a duty-free and retail space. Other passenger features at the terminal include a tourist help desk, and first aid facilities.
The airport also has two cargo terminals.
Runways at Victoria Falls airport
The new runway has a length of 4,000m. It replaced the old runway, which currently serves as a taxiway.
The new runway can accommodate wide-body aircraft, such as Airbus A340, Boeing 777 and Boeing 747.
Maintenance facilities at the Vitoria Falls International Airport
The fixed-base operations (FBO) at Vitoria Falls International Airport are provided by Air Zimbabwe, Bidair Services, Big Dot Services, Clear To Land Act Handling and Premier Destinations Zimbabwe.
The airport’s cargo facilities include refrigerated storage, livestock handling, X-ray equipment, security for valuables, as well as trolleys and towing tugs. The airport is equipped with category six fire and rescue services.
Ground transportation and parking at VFIA
Numerous ground transportation facilities are available to and from Victoria Falls International Airport, including reliable taxi services and shuttle services from hotels to the airport. In addition, car rental companies Avis, Europcar, Budget, and Kanondo have offices inside the passenger terminal.