Beeld reports that the airline, which launched chartered flights between OR Tambo International Airport, Cape Town International and Plettenberg Bay last year, said that a survey among passengers revealed that there is a real gap in the market for flights from Pretoria.
While the plans are in the pipeline, no launch dates have been set as yet. In the meantime, the City of Tshwane is looking at privatizing Wonderboom Airport, as the private sector has greater access to the type of money needed to upgrade facilities.
Earlier this month, newly appointed tourism minister, Derek Hanekom announced that he was hoping to transform airports around the country in order to make tourists feel more welcome.
asked readers what they would specifically like improved and one reader’s response resonated greatly with FlyCemair’s plans to launch Pretoria flights.
“Pretoria has no international airports, it is one of the few capital cities in the world without an international airport. Waterkloof or Wonderboom airforce bases should be re-purposed and expanded for dual use (civilian and military use) (other examples around the world are Frankfurt airport, or Dallas-Fort Worth),” reader, Neil Davis wrote.
There was a mixed response to Davis’ opinion, with some agreeing wholeheartedly while others could see no need for yet another International airport in Gauteng.
“I agree that WAterkloof Airforce base should be a dual airport. Majority of the times it stands empty. Which costs the taxpayers a great amount of money. Pretoria being an international city where the government sit as well as a diplomatic city. This airport should be a priority and re instituted as a dual airport for civil and military use, asap,” Lynette wrote.
Hennie Ruyter disagreed with this, however, stating: “It is quicker to drive from Pretoria to OR Tamba than from Sandton City to Fourways. SO what is the problem?”
“Simple: It doesn't need one. Pretoria and Johannesburg are close enough to be serviced by one large international airport. When you look at the speed of aircraft, the two cities are close enough together to basically be on top of each other.(When you are going at 700+ km/h, the +- 60 km distance between the two cities is about 5 minutes),” Konfab wrote.
So, we'd like to know, what do you think? Would transforming Waterkloof National Airport into a commercial/International airport be a good idea? Or a waste of money and time?
Tell us in the comment section below.