Following an audit by the Directorate of Civil Aviation (DCA) on Namibia Airports Company (NAC)’s facilities, Windhoek’s Hosea Kutako International Airport (HKIA) has been downgraded from Category 9 to Category 5, due to the inadequacy of fire and rescue equipment.
This downgrading will have a negative effect on the A330-200 aircraft, which requires a Category 8 – or higher – ranked airport for take-offs and landings.
Air Namibia has been forced to divert its flights to and from Frankfurt, Germany, to Gaborone, Botswana, and ferry passengers into and out of HKIA in smaller A319-100 aircraft, which can be safely accommodated.
According to eTNW, SAA has changed its aircraft type on this route to an A319 and an A320.
As BA Comair operates B737s between South Africa and Namibia, passengers should not be affected.
According to The Namibian, NAC spokesperson Dan Kamati said the airports company had purchased 11 fire trucks through public tender, in an effort to meet the DCA’s requirements. The first batch was delivered earlier this week. After a short training course, the new trucks will be put into operation in an attempt to restore the airport’s Category 9 ranking.