05 Dec Newsletter Dec 2019
Status of Wonderboom Airport
Dear WAIG member,
We have all read and heard a lot about Wonderboom Airport over the past months. The Airport is currently a major point of discussion and there are indeed many aspects that has been published which is true. These are mostly politically driven and often blown out of proportion. We at WAIG would like to assure you that we will not compromise safety and as members of the Wonderboom Airport Interest Group (WAIG) committee, we are well informed of the situation.
Some background on the status of the airport in relation to safety matters only as per our information:
- The runways are still in a perfect condition for normal training and flights.
- The tower is operating as functional as always. It is managed by ATC and no changes has been made in this area.
- The Fire services had a few findings with the last SACAA inspection.. We have been assured that the fire service is however fully functional and equipped to assist in any emergency for the aircraft our members currently operate with.
- Airport downgrade from Category 5 to Category 2. The main difference between the different categories are the operations allowed on an airport. Most flight schools outside of the cities in South Africa and are located on airports operating on a Category 2 or lower. Wonderboom airport still has the advantages, as always of a brilliant fire service, ATC control tower, cross runways etc. This downgrade has therefore zero effect on Schools, Charter companies and private flights in terms of safety. SACAA still inspect the airport as usual and all safety matters as prescribed in the Wonderboom Aerodrome Manual are still in place, which includes runway inspections, access control, equipment inspections etc. to the standard required.
- Runway Lights. Unfortunately, the runway lights are old and problematic. The older technology, still working with normal lights and not LED’s result in frequent replacement of globes. During an inspection it was found that globes were not replaced and the airport management did not have stock on hand to replace these. For safety reasons, as per the manual and requirements, a notam was issued to stop all night operations. The notam was lifted and night operations are back to normal.
- Change in Airport management. The current management team will be ending their services on 31 December 2019. Until then they are in control and responsible for all aspects on the airport. We are working hard to see that the airport remains open after 1 January 2020.
- Renewing Leases. A possible solution to renew leases has been identified and you are welcome to discuss this with our Chairman. Please direct all enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org and he will point you in the right direction.
- Future Development. The committee met with Tshwane Economic Development Agency (TEDA) and discussions will be on-going to ensure that the airport is looked after in the bigger picture of development in the Wonderboom Airport precinct area. This is important to ensure the upgrade of services such as water lines, power lines, roads etc and replaced taking future demand increases into consideration.
- Communication. The WAIG WhatsApp group has been created and we would like to thank everyone on the group for understanding the rules now. New participants are welcome, including non-members. Please share JP’s number (082 511 6501) where they can request to be added to the group.
The WAIG committee members E-mail details are as follows:
Christian Maiorana : email@example.com
Dolf du Toit: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hendrik Venter: email@example.com
Henk Kraaij: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jan-Paul Nel: email@example.com
Jannie Loutzis: firstname.lastname@example.org
Leon Potgieter: email@example.com
Martin Jacobs: firstname.lastname@example.org
Duncan Miller: email@example.com
Thabo Fisha: firstname.lastname@example.org
Allan Hustler: email@example.com
Please remember that the committee is on a voluntary basis and do not receive any compensation whatsoever, hence a request to respect their time they offer for free by only engaging on important matters.
We would also like to wish all our members and their families a happy and safe festive season.
Until our next time, keep the aircraft and choppers flying!
The WAIG Committee