Windhoek – Namibia’s Deputy Minister of Works and Transport Kilus Nguvauva has officially inaugurated two of Namibian Airports Company’s (NAC) 11 new state-of-the-art Merce Rhino fire fighting vehicles at Hosea Kutako International Airport.
The inauguration ceremony was held at the airport, roughly 35 kilometres from the city of Windhoek, which is the country’s biggest and main international runway.
The 11 new vehicles cost in excess of R98-million in total and sees Hosea Kutako Airport, a Category 9 airport, exceed the requirements of the International Civil Aviation Organisation’s (ICAO) safety standards.
In July 2014 the airport was affected for just over a week after being downgraded to a Category 5 airport. This affected the operations of all large aircraft to Hosea Kutako International, since these require specific safety and emergency firefighting equipment.
At the official ceremony, Nguvauva said the mile stone was long overdue and could not come at a better time as the country prepares to celebrate 25 years of independence on 21 March.
Namibia’s Deputy Minister of Works and Transport Kilus Nguvauva, congratulates National Airports Company Board Chairperson Ndeuhala Katonyala.
“Hosea Kutako International is required as per the ICAO standard to have 24 800 litres of water, 9 000 litters per minute discharge rate of foam solution and 450kg of Dry Chemical Powder. With the acquisition of the new firefighting tenders the airport is equipped with three fire and rescue fire fighting vehicles plus an additional firefighting vehicle on standby.
According to the minister Hosea Kutako International exceeds the ICAO requirements as follows:
- A total of 43 7000 litres of water
- 5 250 litres of foam
- 23 000 litres of water per minute discharge rate
“Government would like to see continued commitment from the NAC board, management and staff to address prevailing shortcomings and ensure excellent service delivery,” Nguvauva said.
Namibia’s Deputy Minister of Works and Transport Kilus Nguvauva inaugurates the new Rhino 6x6
In addition to this, the NAC is in the process of completing additional rehabilitation and upgrade programmes at eight of its airports to improve the level of compliance and meet capacity requirements.
Walvis Bay being revamped to attain International Airport status
The NAC expects to complete a R95-million construction project at Walvis Bay Airport to turn the airport into a fully-fledged international airport.
“Walvis Bay has been a key strategic economic driver for the Namibian economy and the new airport will have a special focus on Cargo transportation,” NAC Board Chairperson Ndeuhala Katonyala said.
“Currently the airport terminal and the runway are under construction and due for completion in the second quarter of 2015. Apron refurbishment will start in the first quarter of 2015,” Katonyala said.
Additional Rehabilitation programmes underway at NAC airports include:
- Ondangwa Airport will open its new R84-million terminal building in the first quarter of 2015 and is undergoing a runway rehabilitation of R208-million
- A new fire station will be opened at the Eros airport in the second quarter of 2015.
- Airports in Luderitz, Rundu, Katima Mulilo and Keetmanshoop are being remodeled from military airports to convert them into civilian airports.