Zululand Observer - Weekender
City continues process for Bay airport relocation
THE uMhlathuze Municipality has opened the tender process to conduct a feasibility study for the proposed relocation of the Richards Bay Airport.
The process seeks to appoint a qualified candidate to begin a fully-fledged investigation into the relocation.
A pre-feasibility study has been conducted, which looked into the tenure, economic imperatives, spatial and land use considerations and environmental risks.
‘It provided guidance regarding the required statutory procedures and further studies that would need to be attended to in the near future,’ the municipality said in a statement, noting that failure to attend to the statutory procedures and further studies timeously could create a project risk.
‘Some of the specific statutory procedures relate to the release of land for non-agricultural use,’ the city said.
In 2017, the municipality’s head of economic development facilitation, Simphiwe Morajane, said as other major cities in the country and internationally, the municipality also aspired to building an ‘airport city’.
He said where the airport is currently situated is limiting in terms of development.
The proposed relocation site is near the N2 between Empangeni and eNseleni.
The city said the project aims to align with the national development plan, the Richards Bay Industrial Development Zone’s 50-year plan and the Port of Richards Bay’s expansion.
It will also accommodate future additional airlines.