Hosea Kutako International Airport upgraded to Category Nine

WINDHOEK: The Hosea Kutako International Airport has been upgraded to Category Nine after a number of shortcomings identified by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) were addressed.

ICAO downgraded the airport from Category Nine to Category Five last month following an audit of the Namibia Airports Company (NAC)’s facilities at the airport.

The audit found that specific elements on two rescue and fire fighting trucks were dysfunctional; and that training records of fire and rescue personnel were not available.

As a result of the downgrade, Air Namibia could no longer operate its A330-200 fleet in or out of the Hosea Kutako International Airport the NAC rectified the shortcomings.

Speaking at a media briefing at the airport today, the NAC’s acting Chief Executive Officer Tamer El-Kallawi said the safety deficiencies needed to be rectified immediately as the international airport operates in accordance with international standards and recommended practises.

The NAC has now acquired two new fire trucks as a measure to address deficiencies in the rescue and fire-fighting services at the airport.

El-Kallawi noted that there was a misunderstanding regarding the record keeping of the fire and rescue services training records, which could not be availed the fire officers at the time of the audit.

He explained that all training records are kept by the company’s Human Resources Department at the head office and not at the airport for safe keeping purposes.