N$184 million for Phase 2 of Ondangwa Airport
Ondangwa Airport is due for the second phase of an extensive upgrade following the completion of the runway upgrade earlier this year.
The Namibia Airports company said this week that Phase 2 will start in August and will improve the apron and taxiways. Upgrading the apron in front of the terminal building and improving the taxiways will enable Ondangwa Airport to receive more flights and increase the number of passengers who pass through the terminal, according to the Airports Company.
Dan Kamati, the Marketing Officer at the Airports Company said the anticipated construction period will be 14 months, starting 1 August and will cost N$184 million. The first phase, the upgrading of the runway, cost N$180 Million.
“The amount of passengers will be dictated by public demand, the idea is to ensure that Ondangwa Airport will be able to process increased numbers of flights and passengers,” he added.
According to Kamati, the Airports Company first completed Phase Zero which involved remedial work on the first 1000 metre portion east of the new threshold to allow a runway length sufficient for the operations of the largest aircraft, the Embraer E135 which requires a runway of 1.650 km for take-off and landing.
“The total runway length is 2.987 km but with the upgrading of the runway it has been shortened to1.66 km. Phase 1A included the reconstruction of the 1237m western portion of the runway in accordance with the width, slopes and pavement detail specified as well as the installation of runway edge lights and threshold and runway end lights,” he said.
Kamati said that early this year, Phase 1B was completed consisting of reconstruction of the central portion of 513 m length in accordance with the specified width slopes and pavement detail. This phase also corrected the difference in elevation between the western and the central portions.
He said that the ageing runway at Ondangwa Airport posed a potential safety risk. To overcome this, the upgrading became a priority and the airport had to be shut down from 20 December 2015 to 29 January 2016.
“The Airport runway had developed cracks in various areas including soft patches, pop-outs, distortions, loss of material and water infiltration which has led to safety hazard to aircraft operating to and from Ondangwa Airport. It was raised as a safety concern by the key stakeholders such as the Airline (Air Namibia) and the aviation regulator, the Directorate of Civil Aviation” he said.
Due to the developments, Namibia Airports Company appointed engineering firm AURECON as consulting engineers to prepare the necessary technical and tender documentation for the identification of a technical solution and the selection of a suitable contractor for the rehabilitation of the runway. China State Construction and Engineering Company was appointed as a contractor.