Nghimtina Not Aware of New Airport

MINISTER of Works and Transport Erkki Nghimtina says he is not aware of plans to construct a new airport.

He, however, said he was aware of plans to refurbish Hosea Kutako Interantional Airport.

Nghimtina spoke to The Namibian yesterday, after the Namibia Airports Company (NAC) placed an aertisement in the media inviting bids for the construction of a new airport.

According to the aert, the airport will be “completely new and separate from the existing one”. It will have a new terminal building with separate VIP check-ins, ancillary facilities, a befitting fire station as well as a new air traffic control tower.

The bidders have until 27 June to express their interest, something which Swapo Politburo member and former youth minister Kazenambo Kazenambo objected to.

Kazenambo told The Namibian the days given to the public to express interest were not enough. “This is pure corruption,” he said.

Addressing the National Assembly yesterday afternoon, Kazenambo raised concerns about companies that aertised tenders when they already had a company earmarked for the job.

“This tender stinks of corruption and fuels speculation that someone has already been picked for the tender,” said Kazenambo.

Speaker of the National Assembly Theo-Ben Gurirab aised Kazenambo to table a motion if he wanted the issue discussed, and Kazenambo said he would do especially concerning tenders, timeframes and corruption.

NAC chief executive officer Tamer El-Kallawi said the new airport was long overdue since the current one had reached its maximum capacity.

El-Kallawi said the new airport should also be able to accommodate big aircraft like the new airbus.

“We all agreed that the current airport has reached its maximum capacity and it is not ideal anymore. The country needs an international airport that can cater for maximum demand,” he said.

He, however, pointed out that they do not have funds for the project and would look to government for help.

The new airport will have a 4F classification to handle bigger aircraft and a larger number of passengers.

Hosea Kutako International Airport has 4E classification.

He said over the past two years NAC had received applications from different companies whose proposals varied from N$2 billion to N$4 billion.

Asked about the upgrade that was meant to take place last year, El-Kallawi said they got a new baggage handling system and work has started on a building to house the new system.

He added that runways at Eros airport in Windhoek and Ondangwa airport need immediate attention while Rundu airport is also in an appalling state and needs urgent rehabilitation.

Source : The Namibian