Freight hub in the pipeline for Mahikeng airport

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Pretoria - The North West administration is in the process of developing a freight transport strategy, including a passenger and freight rail plan, for the province.

Spokesperson at the Premier’s Office, Lesiba Moses Kgwele, said a feasibility study for the development of a freight hub at Mahikeng International Airport was part of the strategy development process.

The airport is undergoing an infrastructure upgrade so that it can be in strict compliance with the regulations of the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) and International Aviation Organisation (ICAO). The move is aimed at getting the airport to achieve a category 6/7 safety status for its international licence status to be transferred from the Pilanesburg International Airport.

Kgwele said in terms of the infrastructure upgrade project plan, R15 million is being spent on the civil project that is underway for the rejuvenation of the runway, taxiways, apron and landing strip markings.

A new 16-element Instrument Landing System (ILS), which will give the Mahikeng Airport ILS the same status as the OR Tambo International Airport, has been installed as part of upgrading the Electrical Grounding Lighting System and ILS upgrade project.

“R30 million is also being spent on the project to be completed in the current financial year.    

“The development of Mahikeng airport was one of the provincial priorities outlined by Premier Thandi Modise in her State of the Province Address,” Kgwele said.

According to the approved Provincial Land Transport Framework report -- which recommended the development of a freight hub/dry port in Mahikeng to complete the spatial development initiatives -- the upgrades will enhance regional trade and eliminate border crossing delays and minimise administrative inefficiencies. - SAnews.gov.za

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