Limpopo eyes new international airport

2012-01-23 14:45
Johannesburg - Limpopo is considering converting the Lephalale military airstrip into a full civilian airport, provincial transport officials said on Monday.

The transport department was also lobbying national government to upgrade Hoedspruit into an international airport, spokesperson Thesan Moodley said.

He said the department would conduct a feasibility study to determine whether there was a need to have a commercial airport in Lephalale, given infrastructure development and the creation of a new city in the area.

"We are going to do a feasibility study on the establishment of an airport in Lephalale. The airstrip was previously used by the SA National Defence Force," said Moodley.

The border town lies between South Africa and Botswana and is about 300km northwest of Polokwane.

It is home to the multimillion-rand Medupi power station which is currently under construction. The coal-rich town has seen strong development since Eskom begun building Medupi few years ago.

According to the Limpopo aviation strategy and implementation plan, Lephalale military airport is currently being rented out for use by a private company.

"There may be an opportunity to transport some specialised mining equipment to the area with unscheduled, private planes, and some courier-type cargo as the economy of the area develops," according to the study commissioned by the department last year.

"From a passenger perspective, Lephalale holds the most potential. Passenger demand is mainly driven by tourism demand, which will veer towards the areas with the most tourism potential."

On the possible upgrading of Hoedspruit airport, Moodley said about 48 000 passengers departed from and arrived at the airport between 2008 and 2010.

"With the current flights and aircraft used on the route from Johannesburg to Hoedspruit, the airport has the capacity to handle an additional 10 000 to 11 000 passengers."

Moodley said the planned development would boost the local economy.
Read more on:    polokwane  |  tourism  |  transport

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

INFOGRAPHIC: New thinking required for retirement

Everything we believe about retirement is fast becoming outdated.


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.