Authorities at Hwange National Park Airport have expressed concern over the underutilisation of the facility, saying it risks ending up not serving any purpose if there are no scheduled flights.

Located in the Hwange National Park, the airport handles light aircraft, commercial and chartered flights as well as overflying traffic to nearby bush camps with airstrips.

The airport is currently operating with 5 members of staff, instead of 18, due to limited activity.

Acting Manager, Mr Ronnie Masawi explained the various challenges the airport is facing to the visiting members of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Transport and Infrastructural Development, which is on a nationwide tour of such facilities.

“This airport is not categorised. It caters for private aircrafts and it is underutilised. We have the 2nd longest runway in Zimbabwe and we wish to have more links with other stakeholders. This airport could perform better because it caters for tourists,” said Mr Masawi.

Mr Masawi also confirmed that a joint Air Zimbabwe and Botswana low cost airline, Mark Air project, is in the pipeline.

The airport usually experiences an increase in overflying aircraft during the tourism peak season.