NAC signs MoU to expand aviation sector through ‘Air Connect Namibia’ project

WINDHOEK: The Namibia Airports Company (NAC) on Tuesday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with key stakeholders aimed at fostering collaboration towards the expansion of the aviation sector through the launch of the ‘Air Connect Namibia’ project.

Speaking at the signing ceremony here, NAC Chief Executive Officer Bisey /Uirab said the aviation sector is a driver of the country’s economic activities and therefore there must be collaboration amongst key stakeholders to define the economic development and ensure that Namibia continues to play a role as the logistics hub in the region.

He explained that the project, amongst others, aims to target specific airlines to come to Namibia; formulate an air connectivity forum and have a broader air service development programme initiated.

‘The steering committee will have roles to play in ensuring that we have sufficient funding for this project so that we are able to do the work and to attract airlines and people who come to our country via air, as well as t
o ensure that we provide policy and strategic guidance to the industry,’ he said.

He noted that with the discovery of oil, and gas and the development of green hydrogen and other government initiatives, Namibia will need the air transport sector to come into play to ensure that travellers come to Namibia easily.

At the same event, NTB Acting Chief Executive Officer Bonnie Mbidzo said there is a need for Namibia to diversify its tourist arrivals through air connectivity as currently, the country relies heavily on German tourist arrivals.

‘We need to diversify into other markets but in those markets, we don’t have connectivity or airlift to Namibia and this project gives us that platform. Our statistics show that in the Netherlands, Belgium or east Europe the Italians the figures are there but connectivity to Namibia has been a problem,’ Mbidzo noted.

Equally, Director of Transport and Regulations in the Ministry of Works and Transport, Cedric Limbo said Namibia wants to become a logistical hub for the Sout
hern African Development Community (SADC) which will require efforts and initiatives such as the ‘Air Connect Namibia’.

‘The signed agreement will smoothen and fast-track the aspect of us becoming a logistical hub. Our aim as a government is really to urge our key stakeholders to unlock other markets. We should not only focus on the traditional markets, yes we have the Germans and the British but we need to unlock other markets,’ he noted.

The parties involved include the Namibia Tourism Board (NTB); the City of Windhoek (CoW); Gondwana Collection; Walvis Bay Corridor Group; the Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and the Namibia Investment Promotion Board.

Source: The Namibia Press Agency