On April 17, the excitement of a new era of transport was promised to Newcastillians with the official opening of the Newcastle Airport terminal.
With much pomp and flourish, Newcastle Mayor, Dr Ntuthuko Mahlaba flew to Newcastle from O.R. Tambo Airport and high-ranking government officials received a parade of honour, as guests watched on in awe.
On the day, Cllr Dr Mahlaba said Newcastle will start a new page in development with the launch of the airport. Attracting investors and ensuring the economy flourishes, while creating job opportunities.
“Part of the government’s plan is to create a substantial amount of jobs. We will now look at employing people from within the Amajuba District first, before looking elsewhere,” Cllr Dr Mahlaba said at the launch.”
With the airport costing a staggering R35 million and promises of seeing Newcastle develop, what has happened to the Newcastle Airport since its official launch?
At the launch on April 17, Cllr Dr Mahlaba said it would take six to eight weeks before the community could take advantage of flights to and from Johannesburg and Durban.
Yet, take a drive to Newcastle Airport Terminal and Newcastillians will be met by a security guard in front of a locked gate. No airport staff to assist you in catching a flight.
Nearly three months after the official launch of the terminal, not a single commercial flight seems to be gracing the Newcastle skyline.
An unofficial source from within the Newcastle Municipality claims the Newcastle community can only expect flights within the next two to three months.
“From what I have gathered, there are still a few odds and ends which need to be finalised. The community can only expect the flights anytime from September to October,” says the source.
The Newcastle Municipality has claimed it will release a press statement during the course of the week. The press statement will apparently enlighten Newcastillians on the status of the Newcastle Airport and when residents can expect flights.
The Newcastillian will keep readers updated on the situation.
With the Newcastle Airport Terminal waiting for flights, what are your thought on the situation? Share your views with us in the comment section below.