By Staff Reporter
“We would like to reassure our Shareholder and stakeholders that we are committed in delivering world class customer service whilst maintaining safe and secure airports and we
encourage you to support us in this quest for we are unable to do it alone!” This, Dr Leake Hangala, Namibia Airports Company’ Chairperson told the media gathered at Windhoek’s
Hosea Kutako International Airport on Tuesday.
“In evaluating one’s own performance, as part of the principles of good corporate governance, you ask yourself – did we always fulfil the mandate and the expectations from the Shareholder as the representative of the nation?
Allow me, to respond to this question very openly and frank – no, not always, in fact the NAC has been a source of concern to its shareholder and the public at some stage as it was assumed to be instable and operating on unsound business practices, but in the same breath I wish to state that with the leadership and insight of the Board the fate and performance of the company has significantly changed over the last 12 months.
In October 2019, the Namibia Civil Aviation Authority conducted a fit and proper persons test as is prescribed in terms of the Civil Aviation Act and Regulations and the CEO was successfully appointed as the Accountable Manager.
The Namibia Civil Aviation Authority as a Regulator conducts audits at all NAC airports to ensure compliance to both National and International regulations. Certain compliance issues have been identified by the Regulator over the years.
“Subsequently, Hosea Kutako the flagship airport has improved significantly in the area of safety and was issued with an annual Aerodrome License Renewal by the Namibia Civil Aviation Authority at the end of November 2019 and Walvis Bay International Airport has been re-licenced at the beginning of January 2020. The licensing process for Ondangwa Airport is currently underway and for Eros Airport, it is in the initial stages,” Hangala continued.
In November 2018, treasury blocked NAC from continuing with the controversial Hosea Kutako International Airport tender because the agency had not complied with the Public
Procurement Act. Treasury at the time said NAC could not proceed and therefore the process was cancelled, and bidders were re-invited to participate.
Hangala confirmed at the press briefing that the “Hosea Kutako Congestion Alleviation Project” is targeted for completion by September of this year, and is expected to alleviate the
congestion challenges in the terminal building and apron within the short term. On an annual basis, Hosea Kutako International Airport sees over 800 000 passengers annually, with approximately 17,514 aircrafts taking off and landing.
The expansion project is aimed at doubling the handling capacity of the airport to increase passenger movements up until 2030. The Government through the Ministry of Works and
Transport have allotted funding amounting to N$155 million complemented by N$95 million from Namibia Airports company own coffers.
Hangala further revealed, that NAC is stabilising and concerted actions have been undertaken to improve service delivery.
More importantly, improved financial management systems and processes are in place to ensure that the organization meets its operational expenditure within its operational income.
This is despite the huge debt incurred by Air Namibia where the struggling airline owed the Airports Company just below N$500 million for landing fees and airport taxes, a debt that
has escalated over the years and never been settled. The Patriot understands that the escalating debt stood at almost N$200 million in 2017 according to newspaper reports.
Hangala, although not expressly stated, hinted that this non payment remains a challenge. However, he claimed that they are working tirelessly to improve the financial position of the
“To this end, the Board has mandated management to reassess all the company’s commercial agreements to ensure that it is in line with the reigning economic climate and if not to
update these agreements; to terminate where circumstances so dictate; to renegotiate certain terms as and when necessary to ensure that the NAC is paid aptly for the services it is
providing. Management was also tasked to ensure that all outstanding dues are collected in the most cost effective, efficient and expeditious manner,” Hangala emphasised.