The Namibian Airports Company (NAC) is currently constructing a new fire and rescue station at Eros Airport in Windhoek to fully comply with standards required by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) of which the Airports Company is a member.
The new fire is estimated to cost N$12.5 million and is said to be eco friendly. According to NAC spokesperson, Mia Davids, the fire station will accommodate the latest technology which includes a 3D view of the station. Other facilities that will be allocated at the fire station include an emergency control centre, as well as ablution and recreational facilities for staff.
A similar fire station has already been constructed at the Walvis Bay airport at a cost of N$7 million while the expanded terminal cost N$ 67 million terminal. Fencing of the Eros Airport cost the parastatal N$4.1 million.
As part of the long-term Eros upgrade, a new presidential terminal and hangar at Eros have been completed last year. "The facilities are building do not only form part of our vision to meet world class standards but also to be on par with the rest of the world in terms of aviation safety and in the process, boost the safety standards of our airports," Davids said.
Since the Eros Airport is rated as a Category Four aerodrome, the airport is required to have a minimum of two fire trucks. An airport's rating is determined by its runway, size and fire rescue capacity. The new fire station will be equipped with two state-of-the-art 4x4 Panther Rosenbauer fire trucks that the airport imported late last year from Austria. According to Davids, each fire truck cost N$16 million. "These trucks will be dispatched at an accident zone," she said.
A six-month training programme is offered to fire fighters at the airport to be up to date with the latest safety standards. Davids highlighted the fact that the NAC is subscribed to the Chicago Convention which requires it to standardize the laws regulating airlines. When an airport operator conforms to this convention, any plane in the world can execute a safety landing on the Namibian run ways. Additionally, apron flood lights will soon be installed once the fire station has been completed. Plans to build the new head offices of the NAC at Eros are also in the pipeline, Davids noted.
Besides its government subsidy, the NAC also generates its own revenues through landing and parking fees by private aircraft. Eros has more than eleven commercial aircraft hangars, three maintenance facilities and three flight schools.