from FUTHI MBHELE in Durban
DURBAN – THE Margate Airport is set to open up lucrative investment prospects, improve leisure travel opportunities and bring local communities into the mainstream tourism.
It has been reopened following an upgrade of R11-million (over US$649 800).
Margate is the latest airport to open in the KwaZulu-Natal province after the Mkuze Airport.
Phelisa Mangcu, Chief Executive of the South Coast Tourism and Investment Enterprise (SCTIE), said the municipal-owned Margate had undergone extensive refurbishment and upgraded to a Category 4 airport.
This elevated position allows for two scheduled flights daily – morning and afternoon – (except Saturdays) with an aircraft capacity of 47 passengers.
“This renovation focus was more on the land side of the airport which included an infrastructure upgrade and extension of the terminal building, the restrooms, parking areas and the commercial precinct,” Mangcu said.
He added that the total investment created 800 temporary jobs with the potential to create hundreds more permanent jobs and the regional airport now boasts investment opportunities in the form of aviation schools, hangars, restaurants and hotels as well as car hire agencies.
The upgrade was undertaken in partnership with the Ray Nkonyeni Municipality, Department of Economic Development Tourism and Environmental Affairs (EDTEA) as well as the private sector.
– CAJ News