26 May 2018


THE OFFICIAL BOKONE BOPHIRIMA GOVERNMENT NEWSPAPER

More flights for Mahikeng - OR Tambo International route 

by: Rebaone Moeng   date: 11 May 2018

Following a notable increase in passenger volumes utilising flights between Mahikeng Airport and OR Tambo International Airport, the Department of Community Safety and Transport Management’s contracted airliner, SA Express, is considering an increase on the number of flights.

Delivering the departmental budget speech for 2018/19 financial year at the Provincial Legislature, Community Safety and Transport Management MEC, Dr Mpho Motlhabane, said this would be done by introducing scheduled flights on Tuesdays and Thursdays at no cost to the department.

“Our airports continue to provide scheduled passenger flights between Mahikeng and Johannesburg and between Pilanesberg to Cape Town as well as Johannesburg. At the moment the flights take place on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, in the mornings and afternoons.

“Since the re-introduction of the air passenger scheduled flights, we have realised a spike in passenger volumes utilising the flights from 9 508 (2015/16) to 14 909 (2016/17) and we are now sitting at 15 712 (2017/18),” said Motlhabane, who appealed to the province’s communities to use these subsidised services.

With regard to the international license status, the MEC said the process to transfer the international license from the Pilanesberg Airport to Mafikeng Airport was underway.

“We anticipate a designation of Mafikeng Airport as a port of entry in the 2018/19 financial year. This will catalyse the process to designate Mafikeng Airport as an international cargo hub in Africa.

“We have set aside a budget for the refurbishment of two hangers at the Mafikeng Airport to establish the aviation academy,” Motlhabane told the house.

Following the Premier’s announcement on renaming the Mafikeng Airport during the State of the Province Address, Motlhabane said the department has embarked on the process of changing the name of the airport to George Dick Montshioa Airport, and stakeholder consultation has been concluded in this regard.

“The branding and the official launch of the new airport name will be conducted as soon as the South African Civil Aviation Authority has updated the Aerodrome Information Publication (AIP),” he said.

To further improve services at these airports, the MEC informed the House that the department had set aside an amount of R16 million to procure two airport fire trucks.