Delayed Katima Mulilo Airport rehabilitation project back on track
The government together with Namibia Airports Company (NAC) last week commissioned the Katima Mulilo Airport Runway Rehabilitation Project to improve the landing and take-off of aircraft at the strategically located airport.
The project is valued at N$96 million dollars and it is fully funded by the government, of which N$39 million was released recently.
Officiating at the ground-breaking ceremony of the Minister of Works and Transport, John Mutorwa explained the delay in the process of the works that initially started in 2013.
“The tender for the rehabilitation of the runway, taxiway and apron at the Katima Mulilo Airport was approved on 10 September 2013. However, due to the poor state of maintenance of the airport over the years, it became necessary to amend the initial scope of work to address the excessively deteriorated runway, apron, and taxiway. The change of scope was approved by the tender Board of Namibia on 13 February 2014,” stated Mutorwa.
NAC Board of Directors Chairperson Dr Leake Hangala welcomed the latest commitment from the government on the airport infrastructure development.
“This work will enable the NAC to deliver on its mandate which is to ensure safe and secure movement of aircraft at the aerodrome. We would like therefore at the outset, to convey our warm felt appreciation and thanks to the government and to the Ministry of Works and Transport in particular for arranging funds that enabled the relaunch of the rehabilitation work. While the project will be directly managed by the Ministry of Works and Transport, NAC is pledging that it will work together with all involved to ensure that the final product of the rehabilitation works, will follow national and international civil aviation regulations and standards,” he added.
Hangala added that there is a need to modernise the Terminal Building with associated pavements and infrastructure at Katima Mulilo Airport and Rundu Airport.
“This is highly essential for the promotion of tourism and to ensure competitive advantage considering the strategic location of Katima Mulilo which is connected to five southern African countries under the Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area (KAZA TFCA) in the SADC region”.
Chairperson of the Zambezi Regional Council Matengu Simushi, delivering the remarks of Governor Lawrence Sampofu, called on the stakeholders involved in the project to ensure that it is finalised on time and within budget.
The project is expected to take about five months with the Candino Contractors and Bicon Namibia Consulting as the contractor and consultants respectively.