Ondangwa Station Controller retires from aviation after 40-year career
The Station Controller for Air Namibia at Ondangwa Airport, Martin Andreas (middle) retires this week after almost 40 years in aviation. At a ceremony on the Ondangwa apron earlier this week, his colleagues officially took leave of the wise guardian of Air Namibia’s interests.
Martin started in 1978 as a refueller. In 1981 he was transferred to maintenance in the workshop division working as an engineer assistant. Two years later he moved back to refuelling where he also trained and mentored new refuellers.
In 1987 he was appointed as Petrol Station Manager at Oshakati Airport. “I was very delighted with this appointment, as I was entrusted with more responsibilities that are very critical to the daily management of the national airline. It was also a great opportunity to reunite with my family in the north,” he said.
A few years after Independence he became the Station Manager at Ondangwa Airport after Air Namibia moved its operational base in the North to Ondangwa. He serves in this capacity until his retirement this week.
As Martin reflects on 39 years of his time at Air Namibia, he recalls various developments that took place at the national airline. “I have seen Air Namibia growing from a small company to a bigger and better company over the years. When I started in 1978, the company was known as South West Airways, and later renamed Namib Air the very same year. In the early years, Air Namibia only had four small aircraft, today [it has] a fleet of 10 aircraft operating nationally, regionally and internationally.”
Advocate Mandi Samson, Air Namibia’s acting Managing Director described Martin as a humble leader who serves customers with a sense of humility, selflessness and commitment. “Martin’s attention to detail, while keeping the broader picture in mind, has been invaluable. His willingness to put in extra time and effort to complete tasks within deadlines has demonstrated commitment to achieve excellence.”
Reflecting on his career, Martin said “Although this employment has occupied most of my life, it has empowered me to be a responsible manager, mentor and friend. I have acquired business skills, invaluable experience and of course, I have been able to provide for my family.”