George Airport in the Western Cape, one of the Airports Company South Africa‘s six regional airports, has received exemption from the SA Civil Aviation Authority (SACCA) to upgrade from a CAT 7 aerodrome to a CAT 8 aerodrome. The upgrade was processed after a request was received for an A310-300 aircraft to land at George Airport. The aircraft is owned by a private individual from the Middle East, who visits a Karoo game farm annually with his family.
This means that the airport is now able to receive larger aircraft and that it complies with regulations for additional aircraft rescue, and that firefighting personnel has sufficient fire tenders for the category upgrade.
“We are exceptionally pleased that George Airport, has received this exemption from the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) to upgrade from a CAT 7 aerodrome to a CAT 8 to accommodate the size of an A310-300 aircraft,” said Brenda Vorster, manager of George Airport.
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Following a successful upgrade the aircraft landed on Friday, 7 April 2017 with 24 passengers and five crew members, it will be at the airport precinct until 13 April 2017, before it departs to the Middle East.
“This upgrade is good news for regional tourism and a feather in the cap of George Airport, which has displayed professionalism and proved that it has the staffing and infrastructure to accommodate larger aircraft with more passengers. This will support the growth of tourism industries and companies within the region,” said Vorster.
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Other Airports Company South Africa regional airports include Upington, Kimberley, East London, Bram Fischer, Port Elizabeth and George airports, which have all played a pivotal role in boosting regional tourism and supporting the economic and social development of South Africa’s more remote regions.