By Elizabeth D.T Taderera
Formerly known as Harare International Airport, it was recently renamed to honour the former President of Zimbabwe, Robert Gabriel Mugabe. It is the largest airport in Zimbabwe and is located in the capital city of Harare. It serves as the harbour of Air Zimbabwe and Fast Jet Zimbabwe. The airport is operated by the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe. The airport has an asphalt 4725m (15500 ft) long runway.
The RGIA was commissioned in 1956 and officially opened on the 5th of February 1957 under the name Salisbury Airport. It cost around 924 000 pounds to build it. In 1967 Air Rhodesia made its headquarters at the airport and since independence in 1980, Air Zimbabwe, the successor of Air Rhodesia, has maintained its head office at the airport as well. The head office of Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe is on level 3 of the new International Terminal.
RGIA serves a variety of airlines and destinations including Airlink to Johannesburg’s O.R Tambo airport, Air Namibia to Windhoek- Hosea Kutako airport, Air Tanzania to Dar es Salam, British Airways, Emirates, Ethiopian Airlines, Kenya Airlines, Malawian Airlines, Proflight Zambia, South African Airways and TAAG Angola airlines for international flights. The airport also caters to local/ domestic flights under Air Zimbabwe to Bulawayo and Victoria Falls.