President Hage Geingob is on Friday expected to officially inaugurate the new terminal building at Walvis Bay International Airport, constructed at a cost of about N$900 million.
Namibia Airports Company (NAC) marketing officer Dan Kamati said the close to a billion dollar new building is designed around a sustained passenger flow of 200 passengers per hour and can cater for one million passengers per annum.
Early last year, NAC indicated that the upgrading and rehabilitation of Walvis Bay International Airport were due for completion in December 2015, but could not manage to meet the set deadline due to technical processes and changes to the work programme.
It was then earmarked for completion in the first quarter of 2016, a construction deadline that has now been met by NAC.
Work at Walvis Bay International Airport included the runway upgrade with a project value of N$220 million and the rehabilitation of the apron (N$16 million), which was facilitated by the Ministry of Works and Transport, whilst NAC managed the construction of the passenger terminal building, valued at N$95 million.
NAC also constructed a polymer perimeter fence, valued at N$48 million, the first of its kind in Namibia, due to the weather conditions at the coast. Apart from the upgrades, NAC installed highly advanced x-ray scanners and metal detectors, in line with its strategic goal of providing safe and secure airports.
Upgrades, supported by timely maintenance programmes will soon be implemented, as the NAC is putting systems in place to achieve these key goals. Kamati said in terms of size the terminal is graded to 4 633 square metres, meaning a total size increase of about 330 percent.
“The building is as energy-efficient in design as possible and makes use of active and passive design measures to minimise its carbon footprint,” he said. Further, Kamati explained that the terminal development has been accompanied by the upgrading of adjacent aprons.
He said it also offers an increased number of restaurants and other retail outlets, airlines, banking, car rental services and government services, amongst others. Moreover, he said the terminal is designed to encourage natural movement of passengers and is responsive to the needs of the elderly and disabled people, with lifts and other related amenities.
Walvis Bay International Airport is the busiest airport along Namibia’s coastline, with primary clients being holiday travelers and people involved in the mining and fishing industries.
With over 4 639 aircraft and more than 89 707 passengers annually, Walvis Bay International Airport handles daily flights to Windhoek, Johannesburg and Cape Town and is primed to become a leader in cargo handling for marine, coastal and mining industries in the area.
Some of the facilities at Walvis Bay International Airport include airline services, as well as car rental services, banking and retail outlets. Government entities at the airport include customs and immigration, police and the port health services.