Hosea Kutako and Ondangwa airports get new operating licences

03 Aug 2016 16:20pm
WINDHOEK, 03 AUG (NAMPA) - The Hosea Kutako International Airport and Ondangwa Airport have each obtained a new operating licence to provide services and ensure safety for aircrafts and passengers.
Namibia Airports Company (NAC) Chief Executive Officer, Tamer El-Kallawi announced in a media statement on Wednesday that the new annual aerodrome operating licences for the two airport facilities are valid until 31 July 2017.
El-Kallawi said the NAC will continue to pursue strict airport safety and security measures and conform to the applicable international and local civil aviation regulations.
“Again, we have demonstrated our ability to meet the stringent regulations of the aviation industry underpinned by our mission of safe and secure airports for the country's prosperity.”
He explained the NAC has undertaken major capital investment at Ondangwa Airport in the upgrade of the passenger terminal building to the value of N.dollars 84 million and rehabilitation of the runway.
The expansion process is due for completion by the end of August, which means a larger aircraft capacity and better safety standard.
“Once completed, the airport will accommodate bigger aircrafts such as the Airbus A-319 and the fire and rescue category will be upgraded to a category 4 C.”
The NAC is also reported to have invested heavily in scanners to secure that the country's airports conveyor belts facilitate baggage handling to improve operational efficiency.
El-Kallawi noted the company's human capital is mainly prioritised to ensure proper and quicker implementation of projects for safe and secure airport facilities.
“We have invested about N.dollars 6.5 million towards the development programmes of our young dynamic engineers responsible for the infrastructure development and airports maintenance. A further amount of N.dollars 3.6 million was invested in our rescue trainees to increase the shift strengths at all our fire stations.”
He noted that the NAC operates in a heavily regulated environment and the company will continue to fulfil its mandate to enhance passenger experience at all airport facilities in Namibia.
At the end of July 2014, chaos erupted when Air Namibia was not allowed to operate its large A330-200 aircraft fleet at the Hosea Kutako International Airport when that airport was downgraded by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) from a Category Nine to a Category Five airport.
This was after NAC management failed to renew the company's annual aerodrome operating licence on time as per ICAO regulations and other related laws.
This year, the company decided to act promptly to obtain the operating licence on time in order to avoid the July 2014 embarrassment.
Local reports have it that El-Kallawi and other NAC top managers are under investigation by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) following the awarding of an alleged dubious N.dollars 156 million contract to IBB Military Equipment and Accessories Supplies without following set tender procedures.