Chongoene airport, to be built in Gaza province, southern Mozambique, by China Aviation International Construction and Investment Co Ltd , is expected to be completed six months later than planned due to the constraints imposed by the new coronavirus pandemic, said the provincial director of Transport and Communications.
Alberto Matusse told daily newspaper Notícias that construction work for the airport was happening at low capacity, due to the fact that one of the first steps that the companies involved have adopted has been to prevent the return to Mozambique of Chinese workers who had travelled to their home country on holiday or to celebrate the Lunar New Year.
Of the three companies subcontracted for this venture, the one responsible for the construction of the terminals, the access road to the airport and all the landscaping of the outer part of the passenger terminal such as the car park and gardens, has 42 Chinese workers, including those from the inspection company, which has 146 Mozambican workers.
Of these, 12 Mozambicans are from outside of Gaza and the measure that was taken, due to the declaration of a state of emergency, was to lay them off, according to MacauHub.
These constraints have led to a drop in the pace of work, on the terminals, the runway, and as far as the fence, because the companies involved are not receiving the equipment and other materials that should have come from China.
The deadline for construction of the airport stipulated in the specifications was 36 months from October 2018 to 30 March 2021, the date on which the contractor was due to deliver the work to the government of China which, in turn, would hand it over to its counterpart in Mozambique.
The first flight for the calibration of instruments was due to happen in April 2021, and the airport was then expected to be fully functional the next month, May.
The foundation stone for the construction of this airport was laid at the beginning of October of 2018, at a ceremony attended by the President of Mozambique Filipe Nyusi and the ambassador of China in Mozambique, Cui Aimin.