The State-run Airports Company (ADM) is to adapt its assets and working practices to meet the needs of the country’s growing mega-projects. This was the message from the conference entitled “Mega-projects Air Transport Needs” held in Maputo on Wednesday.
According to the Ministry of Transport and Communications, the main aim of the conference is “to reflect on the air transport system and the positive externalities for the efficiency of operations of the mining, oil and gas projects together with industrial, commercial, tourist, logistics and business operations”.
Opening the conference, ADM’s chairperson, Emmanuel Chaves, argued “we want to ensure that the mega-projects do not have to wait long times to gain access to the airports”
In his keynote address, Transport Minister Carlos Mesquita explained that the operations of the multinational companies, particularly in the extractive industries, have contributed to the increase in international passengers.
The Minister gave as evidence that at the height of coal exploration between 2014 and 2015, Mozambique had record numbers of international passengers with over 700,000 people travelling. He added that another spike in 2011 coincided with the discovery of various mineral resources and the intensification of prospection for gas in the Rovuma Basin and coal in Moatize. He followed this trend back to 2007 when international air traffic doubled to 400,000 passengers per year.
Mesquita argued that civil aviation still needs to do more to meet the concrete needs of the mega-projects. However, he argued that it must do this without negatively affecting its role in tourism and transporting people and goods around the country.
For Mesquita, it can only do this through working closely with other actors in the national economy. Only in this manner can civil aviation respond to the needs of the mega-projects for moving staff and equipment.
In his address to the conference, the deputy chairperson of the Mozambican Business Associations (CTA), Castigo Nhamane, said the main challenge for the sector is legislative reform, including to the tax regime.
In particular, he stated, “the CTA wants this revision to result in an exemption from customs duties on the importation of aircraft and their accessories, and a reduction in the value added tax on the purchase of aircraft, taking into account the current state of the country’s aviation sector”. source: AIM