Limpopo Tourism Agency concerned about the downgrading of Polokwane International Airport

Reading Time: 2 minutes

The Limpopo Tourism Agency says it is concerned about the downgrading of the Polokwane International Airport from a Category 7 to Category 2 airport.

The agency says the province’s ability to contribute to economic growth through tourism will be negatively affected.

The South African Civil Aviation Authority (Sacaa) downgraded the airport last week due to non-compliance to safety regulations.

The tourism agency’s acting Chief Executive Officer, Ndavhe Ramakuela, says: “We are worried about that the impact that this will have on tourism, especially that we were closed for a longer time and that the majority of the people that were coming to Limpopo were using road transport. So 95% of those were still using transport and 5% were using air travel. The sector that is affected, particularly the business sector that is coming in and out of our province for business and that is where our worry is.”

Airline company, Airlink, has stopped its flights to Polokwane after it was advised by the Sacaa about the downgrade.

The suspension of flights to Polokwane by Airlink leaves the province without any commercial flight services.

Airlink Chief Executive and Managing Director, Rodger Foster, says the decision to suspend flights is mandatory following the absence of aerodrome and rescue fire fighter services.

Limpopo tourism bears the brunt of the downgrading of Polokwane airport: