Airstrip registrations on course

16 May 2019 | Local News

The Namibia Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) remains determined to register all private airports by the end of 2019, in accordance with International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) regulations.

Airfields that do not manage to upgrade their infrastructure, in accordance with the rules and regulations, will not be allowed to land aircraft.

According to Reinhard Gärtner, the president of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), 12 airports are registered while the country has more than 300 airfields and airstrips. These are privately managed or operated by smaller towns and settlements.

The 12 registered facilities comprise eight airports operated by the Namibia Airports Company (NAC), and include Hosea Kutako International Airport, as well as Windhoek's Eros Airport and the Walvis Bay, Ondangwa, Katima Mulilo, Rundu, Keetmanshoop and Lüderitz airports.

“The remaining four airports are under state control,” said Gärtner. An example of this type of airfield is the airport at Grootfontein, which falls under the control of the Namibian military.”

The airports resort under five categories. Operators and owners of all aerodromes will have to adjust and improve their infrastructure, so as to adhere to the regulations in the various categories, which have different compliance requirements. Infrastructure must also adhere to the requirements.

It is the responsibility of the NCAA's division manager for aerodromes and ground aids, Golden Siteketa, to oversee the process.

“Industry consultation will start latest June this year. Publication and a 30-day notice period is scheduled for about September/October this year. If need be, the date of promulgation will be postponed from 1 January 2020 to a later date,” Gärtner said.

Meanwhile, the registration of international airports will cost N$20 000, while national operators and owners have to pay N$5 000. The renewal of an existing accreditation will cost N$2 300.

“Personally, I doubt whether all operators will be able to comply with the rules by the end of the year, but the law is likely to be passed by that time. After the scheduled talks and consultations, we will have to agree to what can be regarded as a fair amount of time for the airfield operators to retrofit,” said Gärtner.

Affected operators can collect copies of the draft provisions at the offices of the NCAA. They are also available on organisation's website.



FRANK STEFFEN

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