A sound airport infrastructure has been described as integral to the growth of a vibrant tourism sector.

This comes as the government is on a drive to spruce up Kariba Airport with a view of making it operate on a full scale.

The development is expected to facilitate connectivity between Kariba and other tourist destinations within the Matusadonha corridor and beyond that can be accessed through air strips.

The Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development, Dr Joram Gumbo visited the airport for an assessment of its current state and emphasised the critical role it plays in helping the growth of tourism in the resort town of Kariba and outlying areas where flights at the moment are very irregular.

The Minister of State for Mashonaland West Provincial affairs, Cde Webster Shamu highlighted how a poor transport infrastructure in Kariba, especially the rural parts of the district is affecting tourism.

Meanwhile, plans are afoot for the development of another airport in Kariba if the need arises.

The current airport cannot be expanded further as it is located near a mountain, a gorge and power pylons.

Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe (CAAZ) CEO, Mr David Chaota said the gorge is actually a threat to the existing airport although safety measures have been taken on board.

The establishment of several airports around the country to stimulate tourism growth is part of the transport ministry’s agenda for the foreseeable future.