Polokwane International Airport Limited has embarked on a development strategy which will enable it to take its rightful place among the country's top aviation centres. "Ownership of the airport, which was originally part of an air force base, was transferred to the Limpopo provincial government in 1995,and commercialised services started operating in February, 1996", explained chief executive officer Mr Shadrack Ramusa. Polokwane International Airport is one of ten in South Africa which currently hold international licences.
It has fully operational customs and immigration facilities, and is able to facilitate any international air traffic. "As part of the infrastructure upgrade to create world class aviation facilities, the airport has set aside R30 million for the extension of the runway to accommodate Boeing 747's,and the erection of a new air traffic tower, construction of a cargo warehouse and cold storage during the current financial year", Marketing and Planning Manager Patricia Tharage explained.
Tenders are already out for the appointment of consulting engineers for the design and drawing of terms of reference for the construction of the infrastructure. The airport operates from 06h00 to 20h00 from Mondays to Fridays, from 07h00 to 15h00 on Saturdays and 12h00 to 20h00 on Sundays, with the possibility of an extended period upon request. The airport maintains a category seven rescue and fire fighting service, with plans already in place to achieve a category nine during the next year.
By Dirk Nel In Polokwane