rsa.AERO is pleased to announce its successful bid for the Plettenberg Bay Airport tender, signifying a momentous milestone for the organisation, propelling it into an important role in ensuring the seamless provision of safe and regular air access
into the Garden Route.

rsa.AERO currently owns and operates the airport in the Western Cape, Cape Winelands Airport. A private company, it prides itself in merging the worlds of aviation and commercial property development.

The airport currently processes in the region of 30 000 passengers per annum which is expected to grow to an estimated 150 000 passengers by 2050, if the airport is upgraded to industry standards.

Development of Plettenberg Airport

The agreement with the Bitou Municipality includes the leasing, development and operating of the current Plettenberg Airport. rsa.AERO will provide the necessary funding for the upgrade of essential airport top structures, including a new passenger terminal, extended runway, expanded apron, and upgraded fire, rescue and emergency service to ICAO Cat 6 standards.

Other infrastructure advancements include a new car park, service station and additional aircraft hangars.

This will provide much-needed infrastructure to unlock the latent demand for air services and realise substantial socio-economic and job creation benefits, likely to include food and beverage jobs for the internal and surrounding businesses.

“An improved airport will serve a large portion of the Garden Route market in Plettenberg Bay, Knysna and their environs and if growth is sustained, will create significant local jobs on a sustained basis”, according to Ferguson.

Expected Timelines

rsa.AERO is committed to expediting the initial on-boarding process, which is anticipated to take in the region of 3 to 5 months; at which time rsa.AERO will assume responsibility for all elements of airport operations.

While the team has a plan in place, during this transition a big priority will be to engage and consult all on-airport and off-airport stakeholders; notably the South African Civil Aviation Authority, operating airline Cemair, the Hangar Owners Association, Plettenberg Bay Tourism, WESGRO, to name a few.

“We are extremely proud of the vote of confidence that we have received from the municipality. We see the airport as an essential asset in the region, with the potential to significantly boost economic activity and enhance tourism.

Next Steps for Plettenberg Bay Airport

An immediate focus for the team includes a thorough technical due diligence at Plettenberg Bay Airport to ensure a seamless transition and efficient operations”, said
Nick Ferguson, Managing Director, rsa.AERO.

Scheduled services to Plettenberg Bay have been provided intermittently, constraining growth over the years. Key to successful airport operations are safety, efficiency, and predictability – this will be an immediate priority for rsa.AERO.

“We take our responsibility very seriously and will collaborate with all key stakeholders. Our goal is to co-create, partner, and ensure the airport’s success”, said Ferguson.

These priorities underscore its commitment to establishing an airport that not only meets but exceeds the expectations of its stakeholders and visitors.

“We are fully committed to contributing to the success of Plettenberg Bay as a premier tourist destination, as we embark on this journey with a vision of operating a world-class airport”, concluded Ferguson.

rsa.AERO ascribes to the aerotropolis concept as,

“The airport follows the city. The city follows the airport. The airport becomes the city”,

– Dr John Kasarda

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