NAC needs N$6.5b to upgrade HKIA

The Namibia Airports Company (NAC) will need to raise approximately N$2.789 billion (US$$200 million) to build a second terminal at the Hosea Kutako International Airport (HKIA), while the need also exists to improve the apron and construct a new runway, The Villager can reveal.
This is in line with the country’s ambition to position itself strategically to become the transport and logistical hub of the southern African sub-continent in the near future.
Speaking to our sister publication, Prime Focus Magazine, the Chief Executive Officer of NAC, Tamar El-Kallawi, said the upgrading of the HKIA, which is the country’s main international airport, will be completed in different stages between now and the year 2040.
The country already has a goal to make Namibia a transport and logistical hub to drive both rapid economic growth and also create employment in the future.
“Our previous estimates (2015) were for a minimum of 200 Million US Dollars for the passenger terminal to meet the forecasted traffic until the year 2040. However, the expansion of the terminal is not the only requirement at HKIA. We need to relocate and expand the aircraft apron to accommodate more and larger aircraft in conformity to the applicable national standards,” El Kallawi told Prime Focus Magazine.
He also added that, “We also need to build a new runway meeting the requirements of large aircraft, and re-organize the taxiway system to meet the applicable requirements in particular in terms of the separation distances between taxiway and runway.
The NAC Chief Executive Officer also added that, “Indeed, some of the infrastructure and facilities at HKIA do not meet the safety requirements as set out in Namibia Civil Aviation Regulations (NAMCARS) 139 – Aerodromes and heliports: Licensing and operations and/or associated technical standards, and guidance material.”
The NAC is already driving various projects to spruce up the country’s airport infrastructure with the recent one being the completion of upgrades at Ondangwa International Airport in line with international trends. The same has been done at Walvis Bay Airport, which received a major face lift.
“More specifically, the distance between the centre lines of the main taxiway and the main runway is 123 meters, which is below the required 182.5 meters separation distance between the centre line of a taxiway and that of a runway of the characteristics of HKIA.
“This separation distance is required to provide a safety margin between aircraft taxiing, landing or taking off from the airport. Moreover, parts of the aircraft apron are within the obstacles clearance surfaces, making an aircraft parked there a potential obstruction to other aircraft taxiing, landing or taking off. In addition, the total apron area is not sufficiently adequate to permit expeditious handling of the aerodrome traffic at its current maximum density,” he said.  
According to El Kallwi additional work to at the HKIA will also require in excess of N$ billion.
“Those equally important works require an additional 300 Million US Dollars (Approximately N$4.184b) as per our previous estimates (2015).We do our best to utilize the resources generated in our operations to cover for the operational costs of providing services at our airports to our customer’s airlines, passengers and the travelling public. Our main source of revenue is the charges levied on aircraft and passengers,” he said.
El Kallawi said the company has been raising sufficient revenues to operate but the needed funds for the upgrade are beyond their current revenue streams and will need the Government to assist in future should the pipe dream of logistical hub see light at the end of the day.
“We also tried to generate commercial revenues in our facilities by providing space for retail activities. The combination of aeronautical and non-aeronautical revenues allows for the company, overall, to pay for the operational expenditures.
“However, the funds required for the rehabilitation, improvements or extensions of facilities are beyond the level of revenue generated by NAC in its operational activities. That is where we call for the support of the government in major infrastructure projects.
“In the long term, the expansion of airport facilities will also increase the opportunities for non-aeronautical revenues with the additional space that will become available for commercial activities,” he said.
He also added that the recent influx of international airlines to the Windhoek route will also go a long way I creating diversity of choices for Namibian Travellers.
For the full interview read Prime Focus Magazine for the October Edition available in two weeks.