The Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe
The Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe was established as the supervising authority in 1999 by the Government of Zimbabwe through the Civil Aviation Act of 1998. The CAAZ is the main provider of civil aviation services, acting as the industry’s regulator while also managing civil aviation infrastructure, including major airports, and providing airspace management services.
In Zimbabwe, the CAAZ owns and operates eleven airports. The original design capacity of the various terminals was 3.8 million passengers per year. Harare is the main hub, but its operations, as well as those of the other major airports, have been hampered by the country’s poor economic performance. Zimbabwe’s civil aviation infrastructure requires rehabilitation and regular maintenance. Air traffic control and safety are of particular concern, as the equipment is old and in need of replacement. The capability of aircraft communication to and from the ground is closely related to traffic surveillance.
Existing facilities do not cover Zimbabwe’s entire airspace, and what does exist is insufficient. The airspace surveillance equipment is in disrepair, and while repairs have been made in Harare, work on the system at Joshua Nkomo International Airport (Bulawayo) remains unfinished. Surveillance flaws also raise concerns about search and rescue operations. Weather installations are inadequate, and most airports lack broadband infrastructure.
International and domestic aircraft movements have decreased sharply as a result of Zimbabwe’s recent economic problems and a sharp decline in tourism activity. The former fell from approximately 31,000 in 1999 to approximately 16,000 in 2009. Domestic movements fell even further, owing to a drop in domestic tourist travel and the negative impact of domestic economic difficulties. The sharp decline in demand for air services to and from Zimbabwe has resulted in a significant reduction in the number of international airlines serving the Zimbabwe market.
More than twenty scheduled airlines ceased operations in Zimbabwe between 1997 and 2007, including major carriers such as Air France (1997), KLM (1998), Lufthansa (2000), Swiss Air (2000), and British Airways (2007). Currently, 13 airlines offer flights to and from Zimbabwe. Air Zimbabwe, the government’s primary domestic carrier, Kenya Airways, Air Malawi, Botswana Airline, South African Airways, South African Airlink, Comair (a franchise partner with British Airways), Air Namibia, Emirates, Egyptian, Zambezi Airline, Ethiopian Airlines, Angola Airlines, and Fly Africa are among them (budget airline). Zimbabwe has 130 airports (or 196 according to the CIA), with paved and unpaved runways.
All aircrafts carrying cargo must land only at designated airports. Air freight will be cleared at the airport of the first landing in Zimbabwe provided such airport is a designated customs airport. If the airport of destination is not a designated airport, the aircraft operator must take special arrangements for clearance of the freight before flying to the destination.
The dropping or spraying of objects or other substances out of or from the aircraft is prohibited. This does not apply to ballast in the form of water or fine sand, fuel tow ropes, tow banners or similar objects if dropped or discharged at places where no danger to persons or property exists. The authority may grant exemption to the introduction if no danger to persons or property exists.
In accordance with article 19 of the International Sanitary regulations adopted by the World Health Organisation, the following are designed sanitary airports:
- Harare/Harare Airport
- Bulawayo/Joshua Mquabuko Nkomo Airport
Key airport information may also be found at World Aero Data.
Private aircraft operating in an airport in Zimbabwe and carrying seven passengers and below do not require prior permission but should submit a normal ATC flight plan only. Private aircraft wishing to overfly Zimbabwean airspace are however required to have prior permission and must submit an application to the CAAZ.
The authority establishes prohibited areas and restricted areas, if necessary, for the prevention of danger to public safety or order, especially for the safety of air traffic. These areas are published in the Aeronautical Information Publication (AIP)
At minor aerodromes without ATC, inspections are often irregular, and pivots must, in addition to obtaining the latest serviceability, examine the landing area from the air before attempting to land. Generally, no facilities are provided.
List of Airports in Zimbabwe Airports
- Zimbabwe Mugabe International Airport
- Zimbabwe Kariba International Airport
- Zimbabwe Victoria Falls International Airport
- Zimbabwe Hwange International Airport
- Zimbabwe Charles Prince National Airport
- Zimbabwe Chiredzi Buffalo Range National Airstrip
- Zimbabwe JM Nkomo Airport
- Zimbabwe Masvingo Airport
Vector Airport Systems offers Aircraft billing solutions. For more information click here