Picture: ISTOCK
Picture: ISTOCK

East London Airport is flying — and a huge upgrade starting next year will see it reach even greater heights.

Airport manager Michael Kernekamp told a media briefing hosted by Airports Company SA (Acsa) that the loss of the SA Express flights has been picked up quickly by other airlines‚ which is bringing in new passengers.

A number of upgrades have started already‚ with the installation of a rainwater harvest system for the airport’s fire-fighting section. The next phase of big projects will bring “ease and convenience” to airport clients and “add lustre” to Buffalo City Metro and the Eastern Cape as a destination for work and play‚ Kernekamp added.

These projects‚ due to kick off next year‚ include a R215m multi-storey parking lot; a R72m expansion of the departure lounge; a R21m solar plant; and a R27m extension of the existing apron eastwards to make space for an additional, new-generation, Code C aircraft.

Kernekemp said with the new parkade above the present parking lot would come new access roads. Airport planners had found the parkade imperative to accommodate future traffic growth.