Plans underway to certify three airports
12 Feb 2023
Civil Aviation Authority of Botswana (CAAB) is working on certifying all the airports to be at par with international standards, CAAB director of Airport Services, Mr Isaac Mabote has said.
Welcoming the BONA 2027 Secretariat during tour of the Maun International Airport, Mr Mabote said certification would make the facilities more secure, safer and regular in accordance with all the international standards of the Civil Aviation Organization.
He said the Sir Seretse Khama International Airport had already been certified and plans were underway to certify Kasane, Maun and Francistown facilities.
“Certification of facilities is one of the positive things we have been doing towards the country’s bid to host the 2027 AFCON. We want to make our facilities more secure,” he added.
Mr Mabote further assured the team of their support saying that CAAB was excited to be part of the process that facilitated the country’s success in its bid.
Earlier on, CAAB manager - Maun Mr Baliki Moremi said the airport terminal building was designed to accommodate 271 passengers per hour. The airport located about 5km from the town centre is housed in a double storey building and has basic facilities including check-in desks, toilets, seating areas and a café. Bigger commercial carriers fly in regularly from other centres in Botswana, South Africa and Namibia.
In terms of aircraft movement Maun airport is second after Cape Town International airport in the Southern African regions.
The secretariat was also appraised on the readiness of tourism facilities by officials from the Department of Tourism. They learnt from the 354 hospitality facilities, room capacity in Maun stood at 3 576 with a bed capacity of 9 252.
Botswana Tourism Organization development officer, Mr Thatayaone Mmapatsi also informed the team that there were no facilities in Maun rated five stars except those situated in the Okavango Delta.
He said the majority of the facilities in Maun were rated between one and three stars. In terms of connectivity between the delta and Maun, he said it was easy as there were small aircraft with a carrying capacity of 15 seats which could transport teams and visitors alike into the delta.
However, Mr Mmapatsi also emphasized the need to look into some structures that could enhance the Maun phase as a tourism destination citing iconic structures that could attract the attention of visitors and promote sport tourism in the district.
For his part, the head of the secretariat, Mr Geoffrey Gare thanked officials for the update noting that if the country becomes successful in its bid, tourists traffic would be increased hence it was critical to audit some of the facilities such as the airport and to appreciate level of readiness in terms of hospitality
He said Maun had been a national choice because of the airport, accommodation and most importantly as a tourism destination.
“It will be an opportunity when we host the games in Maun to expose the tourism opportunities to the rest of the continent and the world as more than 150 countries will be able to see what the place could offer in terms of investment and tourism opportunities,” headed.
Since Botswana is bidding jointly with Namibia, Mr Gare revealed that there was a corridor of tourism between the two countries that also gave them an opportunity to host the tournament. ENDS
Source : BOPA
Author : Esther Mmolai
Location : MAUN
Event : INTERVIEW
Date : 12 Feb 2023