Ondangwa — Chief Executive of the Namibia Airports Company (NAC), Ben Biwa, says the fast, efficient and friendly service provided by the NAC ensures that visitors "come back".
Biwa made these remarks during the ground-breaking ceremony for the development of a new passenger terminal building at the Ondangwa Airport in northern Namibia on Friday.
He said the new development, worth N$58 million, marks the NAC's contribution and commitment to the company's national asset base and the growth of Namibia's tourism industry. Biwa said that the NAC's airports, as an entry point to Namibia, are the first impression visitors get of the country, and as a result, are a reflection of what the rest of the country can offer.
"Our airports are the windows of the country. It goes without saying, therefore, that our airports must be able to stand up to often critical international scrutiny and pass with flying colours," the NAC CEO said.
According to him, the NAC continues to expand and improve its airports. The Ondangwa Airport is a former military airport and with the investments the NAC has made over the years, the company has now transformed it into a friendly airport for civilian use.
Biwa explained that the NAC recently celebrated the inauguration of a modern fire station and the ground-breaking for a new passenger terminal at Walvis Bay Airport in the Erongo Region.
He referred to Ondangwa as Namibia's second biggest airport in terms of domestic traffic, adding that it is experiencing a steady growth in passenger traffic, rising from 19 000 in 2004 to 34 000 passengers currently.
Biwa indicated that growth in passenger traffic at Ondangwa is projected to grow at five per cent annually, and as such, the NAC has to roll out that airport's terminal now, rather than later, to ensure continued seamless handling of users.
He emphasised that the key to the NAC's corporate strategy has been the improvement of airports, so that they are better able to handle the ever-increasing local and international passenger traffic.
The airports, according to Biwa, are to be improved so that they also meet increasingly stringent international airport security benchmarks and provide both passengers and other key stakeholders with world-class experience. The NAC is a state-owned enterprise, and owns and manages Namibia's eight airports, including the country's only international airport, Hosea Kutako.
The construction of the new passenger terminal at Ondangwa Airport is set to be completed by early 2014.