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Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Transport Watch (Various)

Recent transport related developments:

Item 1#  The terminal at Harry Mwaanga Nkumbula International Airport in Livingstone is cracking. The airport is also slowly sinking, according to National Airports Corporation. Transport Permanent Secretary Muyenga Atanga has assured the Parliamentary Committee that the terminal has "not deteriorated to life threatening levels"

Item 2# Negotiations have reached an advanced stage to relocate Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe International Airport from Ndola's Ndeke area to Chichele plantation. Kamfinsa MP Moses Chishimba has opposed the proposed tempering with Chichele Forest Reserve.

Item 3# Government will introduce a National Airline before the end of this year. Transport Minster Christopher Yaluma has appointed a cross government team of officials to spearhead the setting up of the national flag carrier. The team will submit a report to government on the issue next month.

Item 4# Ethiopian Airlines, the fastest growing airline in Africa, has announced further expansion of its service to the continent with new flights to Ndola. The new schedule of three flights per week will begin on March 31st, 2013. Ndola will be Ethiopian’s 45th African and the 72nd international destination. It will also be its second destination in Zambia next to Lusaka.

(Sources : ZNBC, Various)

Item 2# is interesting. But even better is that we should privatise these airports. We need to liberalise this sector. NACL is corrupt, mismanaged and broke . The best thing is to move towards full liberalisation with private sector able to bid and own these airports. We have many promises of turning Zambia into a regional passenger and cargo hub! My view is that NACL are not well placed to take forward this vision. We need to break up ownership of these airports and allow them to compete. Separate ownership will provide better incentive for improvement in service and so forth.

Item 3# is not a priority in a country where 2 in 3 people can barely afford a meal - and many of our children roam the streets totally robed of their future. Why should our poor taxpayers fund airlines they will never use? Poor priorities are killing our people. We mourn about people dying in road accidents. When are we going to start mourning for those killed through hunger and poor decision making? We are a nation of infinite contradictions.

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