PMB Airport overhaul on cards

2012-03-10 00:00

PIETERMARITZBURG Airport is finally set for a new terminal building and other upgrades this year, since it was first mooted two years ago.

Delivering her budget speech yesterday, Finance MEC Ina Cronjé said Pietermaritzburg Airport would receive funding of R16 million, while Ulundi Airport would receive R20 million in the new financial year.

The latter received R10 million for its upgrade in the previous financial year.

“The Pietermaritzburg Airport development in 2012/13 includes the establishment of a new terminal building, a new apron and link taxiways and a hangar development,” Cronjé said.

Msunduzi Municipality spokesperson Brian Zuma said that the repair of the runaway was completed last year and this has led to “bare minimal” flights diverted to Durban for landing.

A new navigation system has already been installed, which had minimised diversion to the King Shaka International Airport — unless there was seriously inclement weather.

At Ulundi Airport upgrades started this week.

“... [the] R20 million in the 2012/13 is to upgrade the main runway, upgrade fire and rescue facilities, upgrade the terminal building and to install landing and navigation systems,” said Cronjé.

On Wednesday the Ulundi Airport was closed for these renovations, which are expected to be completed on March 27.

At this stage, scheduled flights are expected to start a day later.

In a statement this week, Zululand District Mayor Zanele KaMagwaza Msibi said the airport upgrade would bring it back to world- class aviation standards.

The re-opening on March 28 would coincide with the start of daily flights between Ulundi and Pietermaritzburg.

This would make government travel between the two cities safe and more convenient.

“Non-government travellers are also encouraged to use the service,” she said.

Photo: file

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