Sir Seretse Khama Airport (SSKIA) Terminal II buildings in Gaborone will miss the World Cup schedule by over two months, Civil Aviation Authority of Botswana has said.
The move will see BotswanaÔÇöone of the closest neighbours of South AfricaÔÇö- losing huge amounts of money that would have come from aircraft landing charges, bookings with airlines connecting Botswana and other countries over and above other spin-offs associated with the tourism industry.
Further, the delays will impact negatively on the relocation of the multi-billion pula diamond aggregation from London to Gaborone and the setting-up of diamond exchange as it will stunt ambitions of long haul flight between Botswana and the rest of the world.
Botswana government embarked on the renovation of the its airports after International Air Transport Association (IATA), warned of the safety risks of using Sir Seretse Khama International Airport and threatened to blacklist it.
The CAAB said last week that as of the end of October 2009, the terminal building was 56% complete falling short of expectations.
“It is expected that the contractor will be able to meet the deadline for an operationally functional building (Phase I) by the end of March 2010.
“Phase II of the terminal building has its completion date moved to September 2010,” said chairman of CAAB, Keebine Gobusamang, at this year’s International Civil Aviation day held at the SSKIA.
The Council of the International Civil Aviation Organization approved the theme,”65 years of empowering the global community through aviation” as the theme for this year’s aviation day.
Each year, the 7th of December has been declared the International Civil Aviation Day. It is said that the purpose of the annual celebration is to establish and reinforce world-wide awareness of the importance of civil aviation in the social and economic development of member states of the ICAO.
There are currently 190 member states of ICAO, of which Botswana is a member.
Meanwhile Keebine, one of the three remaining members of the board, revealed that the development they are faced with is at teething stage.
“There have been some improvements and developments here and there but it has not been an easy growth,” said Keebine.
However, the runaway extension at the airport was successfully completed on the 13th of July this year.
The taxiway was 86% complete as at the end of October 2009.The CAA expects the taxiway, which is fast on schedule, to be completed by March 2010.
The Francistown airport, which is also undergoing constructions, is experiencing an 8-week delay on the works of the terminal building.
The works at the Francistown airport include construction of a terminal building, airside works on the runway, apron and security fence buildings and airfield lighting and power supply.
“Remedial measures are being discussed with the contractor to ensure that all the work is completed on schedule,” said Keebine.
The works at Maun airport are reportedly still in progress. According to Keebine, work on the terminal building will progress once funding arrangements for the Maun project are completed.
The CAAB said that work at the Kasane airport is still at design stage. The CAAB also revealed their anticipation that the detailed design for the Kasane airport will be ready by the end of February 2010.
The airside facilities designs for Ghanzi airport have been completed and tender documents have been submitted. However, construction works have been deferred in NDP10 due to financial constraints.
The design works for the Tsabong, Hukuntsi and Serowe airstrips have had their completion dates rescheduled to December 2009.The construction works for the three places have also been deferred in NDP10 because of financial constraints.