04 Dec 2014 10:20am
WINDHOEK, 04 DEC (NAMPA) The Namibia Airports Company (NAC) this week started major rehabilitation work on the Ondangwa airports runway.
A media statement issued on Wednesday quoted Ondangwa airport manager Erastus Shoombe as saying phase zero commenced on Wednesday.
It involves the construction of a turn pad at 1 200 metres (m) from the initial threshold 08, he stated.
A turn pad is a defined area on a land aerodrome adjacent to a runway for the purpose of making it possible for aircrafts to complete a 180-degree turn on that runway. The threshold is the area at the end of the runway, usually the last portion.
Shoombe said the initial threshold is being displaced to enable the Embraer 135 aircraft to turn around.
The rehabilitation will permit a runway length sufficient for the operations of the E135, and it will be in an acceptable condition for the duration of phase one of the rehabilitation project, he stated.
The ageing runway at the Ondangwa airport has developed cracks in various areas, including soft patches, pop-outs and distortions, loss of material and water infiltration.
This constitutes a safety hazard for aircraft operations to and from the airport.
Safety concerns were raised by stakeholders such as Air Namibia, the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) as well as NAC's inspection team and the regulator, the Directorate of Civil Aviation (DCA).
The NAC decided to address the issue immediately as safety and security is one of the companys highest priorities, Shoombe said.
He noted that phase one is envisaged to begin early next year.
It will involve the reconstruction of the 1 237m western portion of the runway in accordance with the width slopes and pavement detail specified, as well as the installation of runway edge lights and threshold and runway end-lights, Shoombe said.
Aircraft operations will continue on the eastern side of the runway.
The Ondangwa airport is situated five kilometres outside the town of Ondangwa in the Oshana Region.