Zuma thrilled by Mthatha Airport’s development
President Jacob Zuma said on Friday that the upgrading of Mthatha Airport was critical for the development of the region, including the growth of its tourism.
Zuma was speaking in Mthatha after inspecting the airport, which is set to undergo a major upgrading of its terminal building in February next year.
The airport’s runway has been completed at a cost of R490m and is able to accommodate larger aircraft.
He was accompanied by acting premier Zoleka Capa, Transport Minister Dipuo Peters, Energy Minister Ben Martins, Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Lechesa Tsenoli as well as a host of senior provincial government officials.
Zuma told Mthatha residents, after landing at the airport on Friday, that he was thrilled with its bigger runway.
He said government was committed towards completing the upgrade of other features of the airport.
Zuma said: “Improvements also include a new helipad ramp with lights and approach lights for emergency and medical landing, a new road linking the temporary terminal building and the hangars and the refurbishment of hangars.”
Government had decided to upgrade the terminal building in order to encourage more airlines and more passengers to use the airport and to improve the accessibility to the area for local and international tourists, Zuma said.
A tender for R200m had been advertised for the upgrading of the new terminal building. The bidding process for the tender would be closed on December 10 and the upgrade is set to commence in February with completion scheduled for a year later.
The improvements also include a new car-hire facility.