Situated in northern Mozambique, the airport is situated on a key international trade route and has been built by converting the former Nacala Air Base, and construction was carried out by Brazilian contracting firm Odebrecht International.
Designed by Brazilian company Fernandes Arquitetos Associados, the $144 million (€115 million) project has a capacity of 500,000 passengers a year.
Last Monday on December 8 the airport received the first commercial flight, which was operated by an Embraer 145 LAM (Mozambique Airlines), but the gateway is only temporarily authorized to receive only domestic flights, while waiting for international certification.
The international airport has a high-level infrastructure and occupies an area of about 200,000 hectares, and features a 3,400 metre long runway, capable of receiving Boeing 757 and 767 aircraft.
Construction work on the airport started in September 2011, and includes 16 check-in desks, 16 immigration desks, four arrival and departure gates, and two departure lounges.
Other facilities being constructed on the site include new taxiways, a parking lot, air traffic control tower, support buildings and a fire station.
Brazil’s Fernandes Arquitetos Associados designed the airport, and Figueiredo Farraz Consulting and Project Engineering, has also worked on the one-storey development.
The heart of the design is a central hall, featuring a mezzanine, where retail and food concessions, administration and operation offices will be situated, along with the airport’s main waiting and lounge area.
Operator Aeroportos de Moçambique (ADM), told Airport World last December, it believes the gateway has the potential to become a hub for northern Mozambique and southern Africa.
ADM says the project is a milestone for the city not only for its strategic value, but for its power to bring development and transformation for the major international route of the country.