Airport expansion completed this month

21 September 2021 | Transport

ELLANIE SMIT

WINDHOEK

The N$250 million project expansion project at Hosea Kutako International Airport is expected to accommodate increased passenger movements until 2030.

The massive congestion alleviation project at Hosea Kutako International Airport is set to be completed at the end of this month.

The N$250 million project is expected to double the airport's handling capacity, while it is expected to accommodate increased passenger movements until 2030.

The expansion project, which started in October 2019, aims to address congestion challenges, safety and security issues and to comply with international regulations and standards.

The expansion is focused on key areas such as check-in counters, outbound luggage facilities, security checkpoints and passport control points.

According to a statement issued by the Namibia Airports Company (NAC) the specialist equipment such as the baggage handling and reclaim will be commissioned and operationalised towards the end of October.

“The project at the airport, which is a short-term project to address the current congestion and International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) compliance shortcomings is well on tract with slight delays experienced due to the Covid-19 pandemic, particularly last year due to health-related restrictions,” said the NAC.

The project also included the expansion of facilities for domestic, VIP and VVIP travellers.

Nexus Contractors are the main contractors, joined by other 100% Namibian owned subcontracting and professional consultancy companies.

The government allocated N$155 million for the project through the works ministry, while the NAC committed N$95 million from its coffers.

More counters

According to the NAC, the work includes increasing the number of check-in counters to 18, with five additional self-service check-in kiosks; increasing the departure security screening points from two to five; and increasing the luggage reclaim facilities from two to five.

The project has also accommodated an increase in departure immigration counters from three to seven counters, while the departure hall was increased in size to accommodate the growing passenger movement at the airport.

The new arrivals hall, an extension to the existing terminal, will also see increased space for movement and 17 immigration counters compared to the current eight, while the luggage reclaim hall was to be expanded and fitted with three modern carousels, for a total of five.

Airlink, FlyWestair, Ethiopian Airlines and Eurowings Discover are calling at the international airport at the moment and more airlines are expected to return and increase frequencies, said the NAC.

“There are also at least four airlines, including South African Airways (SAA), that have shown interest in resuming flights to Windhoek, and we are currently in discussions with them on the modalities of re-start. We will make appropriate announcements when the time is right,” the company added.