2 November 2009
Wonderboom National Airport in Tshwane/Pretoria, recently updgraded to the tune of R440-million, is expected to be used extensively by fans and Fifa delegates travelling to and from the city during the 2010 Fifa World Cup™.
Scheduled flights will be operated under an independent airline, Interlink Airlines, with flights to Durban, Cape Town, Polokwane and other parts of the country.
From the airport, fans can then easily be integrated into other modes of transport such as rail, buses and taxis to get the soccer match venue.
Speaking at the launch of the new airport last week, Transport Minister Sibusiso Ndebele said the airport would also be able to handle traffic between Pretoria and Rustenburg, as well as serve as a refuelling centre for aircraft during the tournament.
The upgraded and improved infrastructure at the airport includes arrivals and departure halls, a porte-cochere with kiosks, and a public transport facility developed for tour buses and mini-bus taxis. The airport parking facility has also been upgraded.
The airport expects to handle in the region of 6 800 general aviation and helicopter passengers a year.
2010 legacy project
Ndebele said the airport would become an important part of the legacies of the 2010 World Cup.
The government has invested over R440-million in the project through the Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality, and a total of 1 629 jobs were created during the construction phase.
“We have signed guarantees to provide sufficient and safe transport operations to enable the movement of spectators during the World Cup,” he said. “We believe the transport sector is one of the most important sectors for this event, both from legacy and event delivery perspective.”
Ndebele said this would contribute to a successful economy and ensure the creation of even more jobs.
“Transport is the heartbeat of the South African economy. We must continue to intensify our work towards improving the social and economic development of our people.”