George Airport has received exemption from the South Africa Civil Aviation Authority (SACCA) to upgrade from a CAT 7 aerodrome to a CAT 8 aerodrome. This means that the regional airport is now able to receive larger aircraft and that it complies with regulations for additional aircraft rescue, as well as the fact that the firefighting personnel have sufficient fire tenders for the category upgrade.
The upgrade was processed after a request was received for an A310-300 aircraft to land at George Airport. The aircraft is owned by a private individual from the Middle East, who visits a Karoo game farm annually with his family.
Following a successful upgrade the aircraft landed on Friday 7 April with 24 passengers and five crew members, it will be at the airport precinct until 13 April before it departs to the Middle East.
“We are exceptionally pleased that George Airport, has received this exemption from the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) to upgrade from a CAT 7 aerodrome to a CAT 8 to accommodate the size of an A310-300 aircraft,” said Brenda Vorster, manager of George Airport.
“This upgrade is good news for regional tourism and a feather in the cap of George Airport, which has displayed professionalism and proved that it has the staffing and infrastructure to accommodate larger aircraft with more passengers. This will support the growth of tourism industries and companies within the region,” said Vorster.
Airports Company South Africa, has six regional airports which include Upington, Kimberley, East London, Bram Fischer, Port Elizabeth and George airports. Under Airports Company South Africa, these regional airports have played a pivotal role in boosting regional tourism and supporting the economic and social development of South Africa’s more remote regions.