Opinions are divided over the proposed second commercial airport in Cape Town, that is planned at the site of the former Fisantekraal Airfield.
The Cape Winelands Airport, as it is now known, is an ex-South African Air Force airfield operating privately as a general flying station. It is also, according to its new owners who acquired the property in November 2020, the preferred base for aviation training in the Cape Town region, IOL reports.
Businessman Rob Hersov, 60, who co-owns the airport with Nick Ferguson, recently told an interviewer on BizNews Power Hour that he has set his sights on building the “Lanseria of Cape Town”.
Among those asking questions is Good secretary-general, Brett Herron: “There are lots of questions to be answered and the proposal is vague. It does worry me that we are getting excited about two fancy airports but we have no working trains and a poor bus systems. Two airports surrounded by misery, indignity and shacks.”
“The proposal carries significant risk for the residents of the city and the city and provincial governments. These risks are financial and the potential diversion of resources to provide the supporting infrastructure a commercial airport would need like access roads, transportation and bulk services.”
Meanwhile, Western Cape Property Development Forum (WCPDF) chairperson, Deon van Zyl said before the project gets off the ground, it will need approvals on many fronts.
“As an industry we will always be very supportive of catalytic projects that attract investment from beyond South African borders. It will go a long way to do for these nodes what the Cape Town International Airport currently delivers to the city of Cape Town,” said Van Zyl.
Century 21 estate agent, Megan Petersen said: “Immediate properties within the flight path of the vicinity may be impacted, but then again they always knew they were near an airport.”
“Truth is this won’t only have a positive effect for properties and values in Durbanville but surrounding areas too,” said Petersen.
Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry president, Jacques Moolman said: “In the end, everything will depend on the number of customers a new airport will attract and whether it can make money.”
“We, of course, welcome an infrastructure construction project for the employment opportunities it will offer and the injection of money it may bring to our region. If it works post-Covid, it can only be a welcome boost for tourism to the region. Opportunities for other businesses attracted in its wake are also likely.”
Meanwhile, the City said in a statement that no application to expand the airfield into a commercial airport has been submitted, but that a pre-submission meeting has been scheduled for the coming week.
When asked whether area residents had been given a chance to share their views on the airport, the City said: “As no application has been submitted, no public consultation has taken place as yet.”