The European Investment Bank, Europe’s long-term lending institution, has agreed to provide a EUR 20 million loan (equivalent to USD 26 million or MZN 820 million) to support investment at Mozambique’s main airport in the capital Maputo that will allow the airport to meet International Civil Aviation Organization safety standards. The rehabilitation programme reflects safety priorities at the airport and will include resurfacing of the airport’s runway, taxiway and apron areas, improve landing lights, ensure adequate water supply in case of fire and improve aircraft fuel supply infrastructure.

European Investment Bank support for the investment programme was formally agreed at a signature ceremony in Maputo by His Excellency Manuel Chang, Minister of Finance of the Republic of Mozambique, Emanuel Chaves, Chairman of the Board of Directors and Artur Magalhães, Finance Director, of Aeroportos de Moçambique and Carmelo Cocuzza, the European Investment Bank’s Regional Representative for Southern Africa. Financial support will also be provided by the French development agency, AFD, and the EU-Africa Infrastructure Trust Fund, with cooperation between financial institutions streamlined under the Mutual Reliance Initiative. Approval of the new loan follows detailed assessment of the airport’s investment needs and planning to minimise disruption during construction work.

“Maputo airport is the main passenger gateway to Mozambique and a leading regional transport hub essential for business and tourist travel in southern Africa. The European Investment Bank is committed to supporting investment that facilitates transport and regional economic cooperation across Africa and we are pleased to support this crucial project that will significantly improve safety for air travellers to and from Mozambique.” said Pim van Ballekom, European Investment Bank Vice President.

“The new investment at Maputo airport backed by the European Investment Bank follows recent completion of new international and domestic terminals and will strengthen the airport’s role as the leading gateway to Mozambique. This will upgrade key infrastructure to international standards and benefit all users of the airport for many years to come.” said Emanuel Chaves, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Aeroportos de Moçambique.

"Maputo is increasingly becoming a development pole, and this new investment plan is key to reinforce the safety and security standards of air travel. It will continue to enhance the potential of regional and international cooperation and bring substantial benefits to the economy of the country. The investment in the Maputo airport complements the EU's efforts to promote sustainable and inclusive growth in Mozambique. It is in addition an excellent example of complementarity between the EU's and member states development cooperation in the country", said Ambassador Paul Malin, Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Mozambique.

The rehabilitation programme follows completion of new international and domestic terminals at Maputo airport in the last three years. Investment in safety improvements at the airport is essential to ensure continued flights by international airlines and compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization standards. The upgrading will not only create jobs during the construction, but generate long-term economic benefits across Mozambique through improved tourism and business links.

Works at Maputo airport financed with European Investment Bank support are expected to be completed by 2017 and technical assistance provided during both the planning and construction phase.

Over the last 10 years the European Investment Bank has provided nearly EUR 300m for investment in energy, transport and water infrastructure across Mozambique, as well as supporting private sector investment in the country.

The European Investment Bank has experience supporting airport investment around the world and has provided EUR 12.5 billion for new airports and airport upgrading in the last decade. This has included upgrading regional airports in Tanzania, air traffic control in Madagascar and West Africa, as well as Heathrow Terminal 5, Amsterdam Schiphol, Frankfurt and Paris airports.