Staff Writer

The Namibia Airports Company (NAC) says it plans to invest over N$1.3 billion in infrastructure development across all eight airports within the next five years.

Some of the projects lined up include the N$70 million Apron Expansion of Hosea Kutako International Airport (HKIA); N$16 million for a CUTE System for Hosea Kutako; N$16 million Ondangwa Apron Rehabilitation; N$32 million Katima Mulilo Runway Holding Action; N$10 million Walvis Bay Airside Boundary Wall; N$4 million Walvis Bay Electronic Equipment and a N$4 million Hosea Kutako road upgrade.

The plans, according to the operator of the country’s airports, is aimed at improving compliance, operational efficiency and revenue generation. “Immediate interventions include N$250 million for the HKIA terminal congestion alleviation and N$20 million for the Eros runway holding action. These are meant to address immediate safety and security concerns at the two airports as well as the congestion situation particularly at HKIA.”

“Despite COVID challenges, over N$174 million has been invested in the Eros and HKIA projects within the 2019/20 and 2020/21 financial year, N$154 million of which was spent on HKIA and N$20 million on Eros.”

The airports operator said it expects to have completed Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 which are being renovated and upgraded as part of its decongestion plans in June and March consecutively.

“The overall progress made towards the renovation upgrade project for the Hosea Kutako International Congestion Alleviation Project as at end January 2021 stands at 75 percent. The project boasts of two business lounges, forex banks, duty free, increased number of immigration counters, increased retail spaces to diversify retail offerings. The completion date is revised and now anticipated to be around March 2021 for Terminal 2 and June 2021 for Terminal 1.”

The company said although it still requires additional funding, government had made funds available for other projects.

“During this difficult time, the Government has assisted with funding in order for NAC to seamlessly execute these projects. NAC is currently seeking to secure a further N$143 million in funds for capital expenditure projects planned within the 2020/21 and 2021/22 financial years.”

Eros Airport rehabilitation comes after its runway ‘expired’, with the airstrip having exceeded its design life of 25 years.