07 Nov 2018 14:30pm
WINDHOEK, 07 NOV (NAMPA) Government has approved a N.dollars 245 million upgrade for the Hosea Kutako International Airport, Namibia Airports Company (NAC) Board Chairperson, Leake Hangala announced on Wednesday.
Speaking at a media briefing here, Hangala said of the total amount, N.dollars 95.2 million will be from the NACs resources, while the remaining N.dollars 149.8 million will come from Government as the main stakeholder.
Hangala said the upgrade will include the revamping and modernising of the check-in and departure halls, security screening points, arrival halls and luggage handling areas, as well as ventilation systems.
Further upgrades will be made on the installation of a closed-circuit television system, intrusion detection systems, introduction of the latest technology and software systems related to self check-in and screening machines for passengers and luggage.
The airport has reached its limit concerning capacity and therefore requires urgent expansion and upgrading to meet the demands of increasing aircraft and passenger numbers, as well as more stringent international security and safety requirements, he said.
Hangala said the Hosea Kutako International Airport was constructed in 1985 to handle 250 000 passengers per year, however at present the airport deals with nearly one million travellers per annum as the popularity of Namibia as a tourist and business destination continues to rise.
Hangala further noted that a local company, Kerry McNamara Architects was appointed to design the project for the airport upgrade, adding that a contractor on site is anticipated by March 2019 and full completion by October next year.
I would like to assure the nation [that] funds for Hosea Kutako International Airport will be managed in the most accountable and transparent manner. It is our objective that it must contribute to the nations economy in terms of job creation and provision of goods and services, he noted.
Hangala gave his assurance that the upgrade will have minimal effect on the current airport operations, which will continue as usual. He added that Terminal One, currently only used for Very Important People, will also form part of the upgrade.
Congestion at the airport not only causes discomfort for passengers, but also created a number of issues pertaining to the compliance of aviation regulations, especially due to prevalent mixing of screened and unscreened passengers at certain intervals of the day, he said.