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Limpopo spends R76m on 2010 airport upgrades

May 30, 2006

The money will be used to improve the Giyani and Thohoyandou airports, as well as upgrading the Polokwane international airport. "We still have to do some work on improving conditions at the Giyani and Thohoyandou airports since these areas are going to be used to host some of the clubs for soccer practice sessions," said departmental MEC Justice Piitso. Presenting his department's budget on Thursday, the MEC said a further study was underway to investigate the possibility of turning Thohoyandou airport into an aviation academy. Further to this, work is in progress to turn the Polokwane international airport into a state-of-the-art facility and logistical hub for both cargo and passenger transport. In 2006, the department spent R13 million to improve navigational aid and R10 million on the construction of part of the terminal building. "This year we have set aside R28 million for the completion of the terminal building, R31 million for the construction of infrastructure at the cargo hub and R17 million for the development of the Aero City," added Mr Piitso. The Aero City will include parking for cars, buses, taxis and rental cars, feeder roads and ring roads around the terminal building. It will also include water, sewerage and electrical networks for the terminal building area, passenger walkways and a wash bay and offices for car rental companies. "We have also successfully rationalised the three former airport boards. "We now have one board for Gateway Airport Limited (GAAL) charged with the responsibility of overseeing the turn-around of our airports and we believe that this will bring about efficient and effective management of these important institutions," Mr Piitso said.

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