PMB airport gets makeover

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Pretoria – The Pietermaritzburg Airport has been given an R18 million upgrade at its terminal building and apron.

Unveiling the upgrades on Tuesday, KwaZulu-Natal Finance MEC Ina Cronjé said they had to give KwaZulu-Natal’s capital city new wings.

She said she was one of the people who had given up on using the Pietermaritzburg Airport.

“I could no longer risk missing important meetings because the aeroplane could not land in or take off from Pietermaritzburg due to bad weather.”

The MEC said a lot of hard work and sweat from very dedicated people had made Pietermaritzburg Airport an airport to be proud of today.

Together with the investments by the Msunduzi Municipality to upgrade the navigation lighting systems, a 46% improvement in functionality has been experienced.

As a result, Airlink restarted its Quad Jet services into Pietermaritzburg from July.

Cronjé said passenger numbers have since increased from 273 seats per day to 401 seats, while the number of daily return flights also increased from four to five.

As a general aviation airport, the Pietermaritzburg Airport also caters for private aircraft landings and departures.

In addition, it provides hanger space, refuelling facilities, a car hire area, office accommodation and parking, while the land adjacent to the airport is available for industrial and commercial development.

“These factors were all considered by the provincial government before a decision was taken to invest R40 million for essential upgrades at the airport,” the MEC said.

She said the money will stay in the provincial fiscus and will only be disbursed on satisfactory proof of progress.

The most compelling upgrade which needed to be made, Cronjé said, was the resurfacing of the runway and taxiway.

The upgrading of the airport, coupled with the restoration of confidence of previous customers, will add to the economic development and growth of Pietermaritzburg. – SAnews.gov.za

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