The Namibia Airports Company (NAC) and the government have embarked upon an upgrading project currently estimated to be worth N$245 million to ease congestion at the Hosea Kutako International Airport (HKIA).
NAC Chairman of the Board, Leake Hangala said the airport has reached limit concerning capacity and requires urgent expansion and upgrading to meet the demands of increased aircraft and passenger numbers according to an official.
"The upgrading project will include the revamp and modernizing of the check-in and departure halls, security screening points, arrival hall and luggage handling area. We will also take advantage of the upgrading to introduce latest advance technologies and software systems related to self check ins and screening," he said.
According to Hangala the upgrade work will have minimal effect on the current airport operations which he noted will continue as usual.The funds for the temporary upgrades will come from NAC as well as other stakeholders.
"The old terminal, known as Terminal one, currently only used for VIP movements will also form part of the work to be done so as to have a dedicated international departure and arrival terminal," he said.
Hangala said a local company, Kerry McNamara Architects have been appointed the leading architect consultant to work on the design of the project for the upgrade. "We anticipate having a contractor on site by March 2019 after which the airport will boast a dedicated and domestic departure and arrival halls," he said.
The current terminal building was constructed in 1985 to handle 250,000 passengers per year. At present the airport handles nearly a million passengers per annum, with the figures expected to rise as the country gains popularity as a tourist and business destination.
Meanwhile, Namibia will be the first country to to be audited under the new International Civil Aviation Organization standards (ICAO) which will become applicable on 16 November and acting CEO, Lot Haifidi said that the country is ready for the audit.