Plett airport on the way up

Plettenberg Bay airport to be revamped
TAKING OFF: Plettenberg Bay airport to be revamped
Image: Supplied

Plettenberg Bay airport is about to take flight after the Bitou municipality concluded its tender processes.

The plan is to see the rundown airport converted into a regional aviation hub along the Garden Route while creating opportunities along the tourism industry.

The tender, issued last year, suggested it could potentially welcome 150, 000 passengers a year by 2050.

In a statement, the municipality announced it had concluded a deal with rsa.AERO after a rigorous process that will see the Plettenberg Bay airport fully revamped and upgraded with new hangers, a modern terminal building and the resurfacing of the runway.

The airport will be run independently from the municipality,

Bitou municipal manager Mbulelo Memani said the conclusion of this tender was beneficial for the town as Plettenberg Bay was a leading tourist destination in the region.

“Tourism plays a key role in the socio-economic prosperity of Bitou and the region.”

Memani said the municipality was not an expert at running airports, therefore handing over to experts would ensure that Bitou had a safe and efficient air access.

“In the bidding document, there are actionable promises that can see more flight options for Bitou. The municipality will provide an enabling environment for more businesses who are likely to take advantage of this new venture,” Memani said.

MD for rsa.AERO ,Nick Ferguson, said he appreciated the confidence that the municipality had placed in the company.

“The team is made up of a group of professionals who are competent, passionate about aviation, and making a meaningful contribution to society at large.

“Plettenberg Bay requires an airport that delivers safe and reliable services. We are dedicated to fulfilling this commitment, ensuring that the airport becomes a source of pride for all citizens alike.”

Plett Tourism CEO Patty Butterworth said tourism played a pivotal role in driving socioeconomic prosperity in the region.

“South Africa, with the concerted efforts of organisations such as Wesgro and SA Tourism, has established itself as a global tourist destination.

“The Western Cape, particularly the city of Cape Town, are consistently recognised as preferred destinations, and the Garden Route, with its myriad premier tourist offerings, contributes significantly to this reputation.

“The Plettenberg Bay airport plays a crucial role in our marketing efforts at Plett Tourism. We sell direct access to our domestic and international travellers regularly.”

“We are extremely pleased that the Bitou Municipality has awarded the tender and has taken the issue of providing an efficient and improved airport seriously.

“The Plett airport is a key marketing tool for the local tourism industry, and we look forward to watching the economic spin-offs and job creation it will have for Bitou,” Butterworth said.



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