Joburg wants a new airport?

2013-08-19 14:50
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Johannesburg - The Gauteng Funding Agency has submitted a report to the portfolio committee on finance, detailing its current and forthcoming projects for the year - including a feasibility study request for a new West Rand regional airport.

TimesLive reports  the agency is formulating a case to develop a freight and logistics hub on the West Rand. But aviation experts have rejected the idea of the new airport, describing it as a waste of money.

The basis of the feasibility study is that two airfields on the West Rand are facing closure because of housing developments and a new integrated airport "would mean a potential economic catalyst, which the region desperately needs", according to the agency's head of communications, Aubrey Kitime.

At this stage the agency, that converts infrastructure project concepts that can be funded through public-private partnerships into reality, has outlined the terms of reference for establishing the viability of a regional airport in its report.

According to the agency, the airport is not intended to be in competition with existing airports. The final report on the study is expected by December.

Aviation expert Athol Franz, editor of aviation magazine African Pilot, said the province had too many airports already.

These included Lanseria International Airport, Rand Airport in Germiston, Grand Central in Midrand, Wonderboom in Pretoria; Heidelberg, Brakpan-Benoni, Krugersdorp and Springs, in Ekurhuleni, East Rand.

Leon Dillman, CEO of the Commercial Aviation Association of Southern Africa, said the new airport was not needed and that a better solution would be to extend Lanseria or Grand Central.

"To start building a completely new airport would be a waste of money."

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Read more on:    gauteng  |  johannesburg  |  travel  |  travel south africa  |  aviation  |  airports

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