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View Poll Results: What should happen to Virginia Airport?
Stay where it is, but have no room for growth 2 14.29%
Move to King Shaka 4 28.57%
Move to Cato Ridge and combine with a new airport for Pmb 8 57.14%
Voters: 14. You may not vote on this poll

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Old July 16th, 2012, 12:34 PM   #1
dysan1
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Virginia Airport - Stay or Move?

The debate has been going on for ages and the Durban city council hve stated that they are committed to Virginia staying where it is for at least the next 8 years...

BUT should it stay, or should it go?

it has an important role to play as the only GA airport in Durban, but it has no way to expand, is in a built up residential area, right on the beach and the land must be worth a fortune.

3 options are on the table:

1) Stay as is, but then hampered for long term growth of GA
2) Move to KSIA, but this then means GA and commercial competing which is never the best idea.
3) Move to a new airport in Cato Ridge which will serve as both GA replacement of Virginia and a new bigger home for the Pietermaritzburg Airport, serving PMB and West Durban.

Will dig up some reports, but since we will undoubtably all have different views, would like to hear.
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Old July 16th, 2012, 01:06 PM   #2
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To be honest, from a nostalgia point of view, I like Virgina Airport where it is..

But as you say, there is no room for it to expand, and that land is worth an absolute fortune and will be snapped up by developers if it ever goes on the market.

I personally think moving it to Cato Ridge is the best of the 3 options in the long term, but it will bring its own challenges with it, but the airport site will be better developed hopefully.
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Old July 16th, 2012, 01:14 PM   #3
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Does Virginia need to expand? It has been more or less the same size for ages. Difficult issue this, both arguments are pretty solid. $$$ will be the deciding factor in the end, in which case Cato Rodge here we come.
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Old July 16th, 2012, 01:20 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cigar View Post
Does Virginia need to expand? It has been more or less the same size for ages. Difficult issue this, both arguments are pretty solid. $$$ will be the deciding factor in the end, in which case Cato Rodge here we come.
I personally think GA is hamstrung in Durban to a large degree because Virginia can't expand any further...
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Old July 16th, 2012, 01:37 PM   #5
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The operating hours at Virginia are currently under pressure with neighbours mounting a legal challenge to stop any flights before 0630am and after 7pm due to the high volumes of noise those little planes make.

At the end of the day its going to come down to which is the better argument... stay because it is so central and convenient, or move because the land is so valuable, neighbours are restless and they could piggy back on a fantastic new facility jointly funded by pietermaritzburg... i am sure pmb would want to sweeten the deal for the G guys to get interested as it will help their business case too.
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Old July 16th, 2012, 02:54 PM   #6
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"Today, Virginia airport, or as it is affectionately known in South Africa as HMS Virginia due to its short runway and closeness to the ocean is a busy training airport and a base of a number of charter companies. Due its closeness to the beach, landing and taking off from Virginia is always a thrill, and its closeness to Durban international makes Instrument and advanced training cost and time effective. "
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Old July 16th, 2012, 03:06 PM   #7
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Quote from their website?
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Old July 16th, 2012, 05:05 PM   #8
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I vote for the Cato Ridge option as it'll shake things up a bit. Having a new Pmb airport there will be direct competition to ACSA as it'll be closer than KSIA to the entire highway area from Pinetown westwards. I could see it becoming a hub a some of the LCC's much like Lanseria.

Btw doesn't Cato Ridge fall under the eThekwini metro? Meaning Pmb's airport could be in Durban and Durban's airport (if the proposed changes take place) in KwaDukuza!
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Old July 16th, 2012, 06:32 PM   #9
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Like OR T...

Cato ridge is the edge. If it's closer to camperdown its pmb... Depends where they planning. But I agree this is the best option. In GA interests, in pmbs interests and good for west Durban. Would probably have international status, but for GA. King shaka will remain big plane focus.
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Old August 20th, 2012, 04:18 PM   #10
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Virginia Airport could be moved
August 20 2012 at 09:51am
By Bronwyn Fourie


Virginia Airport

Durban - Breaking months of silence – and possibly explaining the uncertainty behind lease renewals for Virginia Airport operators – the eThekwini municipality has indicated that it may be looking at alternate plans for the airport site and operations.

Earlier this year, the city reneged on its agreement to renew operators’ 10-year leases, citing procedural formalities. However, they are now still no closer to having their leases officially renewed, even though some had already signed the new leases before the agreement was rescinded.

The city has admitted that the hold-up was due to the scheduling of a meeting with city manager S’bu Sithole, who has requested comprehensive reports and analysis on all conditions relating to the leases.

City spokesman Thabo Mofokeng said these included the types of leases, what businesses held them, how long they had been there, the pricing structure of the leases and “issues of equity”.

These reports would also include “other matters raised by feasibility studies which were done before, regarding the future use of the airport”.

The most recent study was commissioned in 2007, and carried out by auditing and advisory firm Grant Thornton.

Six options – including the capex (capital expenditure) for each – were explored for the location of Virginia Airport:

l It remains where it is – R0.

l It remains where it is but has an extended runway built – R7.5m.

l It moves to King Shaka International Airport – R65m.

l It moves to Durban International Airport once King Shaka airport opens (no longer applicable) – R32m.

l It moves to an entirely new general aviation airport at Cato Ridge – R300m.

l It closes – R0.

“On a qualitative basis, option five (moving to Cato Ridge) is not viable,” the report said. “The capital outlay for each option needs to be viewed if relevant in context with the potential of an income generated from selling/developing the existing Virginia Airport site… On a quantitative basis, the selection would need to be made between options one to four.”

The report advised that the city clarify its future policy and strategy in terms of Cato Ridge as well as Virginia Airport, before reviewing the options. It also recommended that closing the airport and moving to Cato Ridge not be considered, and keeping the airport at Virginia only if it was accepted that the airport would not grow.

Moving to King Shaka would “provide significant opportunity for expanding the [Cato Ridge] industry in line with the city’s needs”, but would require significant municipal backing and investment, and comprise complexities that might not be solvable.

The report also proposed possible future uses of the site, including:

l Continuation of existing residential pattern.

l Two residential eco-estate developments.

l Resort development.

l Public open space.


Virginia Airport operators, however, believe the feasibility studies and the analysis of the leases are “irrelevant” as their signed leases stand.


Airport manager Glen Bryce said while there was “no space” at Cato Ridge for an airport, a move to King Shaka had been on the cards for 2035.

However, moving to the La Mercy airport could negate much of the business of Virginia, and pilot training would suffer. - The Mercury


http://www.iol.co.za/business/busine...oved-1.1365762
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Old October 1st, 2012, 10:23 AM   #11
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Do none of these people read and know that in a few years there will be water where the old airport currently is?? this should not even be getting discussed, ESPECIALLY by city officials.

Virginia may move to old airport

October 1 2012 at 08:24am
By Bronwyn Fourie

Independent Newspapers

Durban - The eThekwini municipality is considering moving Virginia Airport operators to the old Durban International Airport site, ending months of speculation as to why, possibly, the city reneged on its agreement to renew the operators’ leases.

City manager S’bu Sithole would meet Transnet officials to discuss this option as well as using the old airport site to accommodate overflow traffic from King Shaka International Airport, said Nomvuso Shabalala, deputy mayor and chairwoman of the city’s economic development committee.

Virginia Airport operators, some of whom have been based there for 50 years, have been in the dark since early this year after the city informed them that they would operate on month-to-month leases. The tender for the management of the airport is also set to be finalised this month as the current contract with Indiza Airport Management – which has been managing it for the past 10 years – comes to an end.

Speaking to The Mercury, Shabalala said the city would meet Transnet about the possible relocation.

“We are discussing the issue of the old airport site for some of the operators at Virginia to move to that site. The city also wants more space to accommodate bigger flights that Virginia cannot.”

Shabalala indicated that this space was needed to accommodate overflow traffic from King Shaka International Airport, on those occasions when it was needed.

Although speculation has been rife for months that the city has alternate plans for the Virginia Airport site – which is situated on prime land – Shabalala said the city “had not discussed plans [for the site] for now”.

She then referred The Mercury to Sithole for further details on the relocation plans. However, numerous attempts to secure an interview with him were unsuccessful.

Virginia Airport manager Glen Bryce said a move to the old airport site would garner a generally positive response from current Virginia operators – second only to remaining at the current site. However, if such a move was going to happen, it should happen now.

“Of course staying where they are would be the operators’ first priority, but if it needs to move then the old airport site would be the best option.

“There are more businesses in the South Durban Basin, so it stands to reason that the airport should move there. There will also be a larger runway for business jets.”

Bryce believed this option would be acceptable to the current operators who were already threatening legal action if the city tried to move them to Cato Ridge or King Shaka.

“Give them long-term tenancy and the move would be good… It is looking like Virginia is always going to be a hot potato.”

Daryl Mann of Aero Natal, which has been at Virginia for 40 years, said he would not object to moving to the old airport site if the city assisted in the relocation costs.

But he did not believe that move would ever happen. And, he said, as he believed his 10-year lease at Virginia was legal and binding, he would fight the municipality in court if he was told to move.

However, if the move was a reality, Bryce said, the operators only needed a portion of the site – the runway and about 200m in width for the hangars, which would have to be built from scratch.

“It is just not good to say that there is no need for Virginia Airport. We need general aviation and if we don’t have this airport Durban will be the only city in the world without it.”

Bheko Madlala, spokesman for the provincial Department of Economic Development, said the government had taken a conscious decision to promote regional airports “which we think are critical for economic growth and tourism in KZN”. - The Mercury

http://www.iol.co.za/news/south-afri...port-1.1393139
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Old October 1st, 2012, 10:55 AM   #12
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I though the old Durban Airport has been sold to Transnet and transforming it to a harbour?

Why dont they use Virginia airport as a low cost carrier airport, like what they have done in Joburg - OR Tambo and Lanseria?
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Old October 1st, 2012, 11:10 AM   #13
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Clueless!
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Old October 1st, 2012, 02:23 PM   #14
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Makes no sense at all, especially as work on the new harbour has to commence in the next few years to be ready by 2019! Eish!
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Old October 1st, 2012, 02:36 PM   #15
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Too damn funny actually..

I can just imagine Transnets response....

"You want us to carve out a little space in our multi-billion rand development that will benefit the whole country for 50+ years, so some small little aviation companies can keep the runway and have hangar space??!!?".....

*pregnant pause*

"Wahahahaha, go and find a cliff and jump off it.."
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Old October 1st, 2012, 03:20 PM   #16
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On top of the stupidity of the people involved, how does this pass the editor of the same newspaper that in the same edition has articles about the clairwood residents complaining about the dig out port....
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Old October 1st, 2012, 03:21 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Awesome.e View Post
I though the old Durban Airport has been sold to Transnet and transforming it to a harbour?

Why dont they use Virginia airport as a low cost carrier airport, like what they have done in Joburg - OR Tambo and Lanseria?
no scope for that due to length of runway. The land is so valuable for other redevelopment that further development is making less sense and a move more likely. But it needs to be handled properly
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Old October 3rd, 2012, 12:28 AM   #18
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Transnet’s dig-out port plans may be foiled by relocation of small airport’s operators
BY EDWARD WEST, 01 OCTOBER 2012

TRANSNET’s plan to build a multibillion rand dig-out port south of Durban will need to be altered if the municipality succeeds in negotiating a new home for the operators of its small-city airport on the site of the old international airport.

Transnet on Monday issued only a guarded response to reports that the eThekwini Municipality wanted to move the operators of the small Virginia general aviation airport in Durban North to the site of the old international airport south of the city.

However, Transnet wants the site for a dig-out port, one of two multibillion rand dig-outs — the other is at Bayhead. The port expansions are required over the next 50 years for an anticipated six-fold increase in container traffic at the Port of Durban.

"The old Durban International Airport site has been decommissioned as an airport. Transnet has not had discussions with anyone regarding the use of the site for aviation purposes," the utility said on Monday.

eThekwini Municipality is considering moving the Virginia Airport operators to the old Durban International Airport site to accommodate the overflow from King Shaka International Airport.

The Mercury newspaper reported on Monday the municipality intended to meet Transnet to discuss the possible relocation.

Operators at Virginia Airport have been uncertain about their future since the beginning of the year after the municipality informed them they would operate on month-to-month leases, while the tender for the management of the airport, held by Indiza Airport Management, also comes to an end this month.

Speculation about some of the other sites for the possible relocation of the operators of Virginia Airport have included Cato Ridge or King Shaka International Airport.

Many South Durban basin residents continue to oppose plans by the municipality to build freight and logistics infrastructure in their suburbs behind the port, which is required to cope with the expected increase in freight-related traffic arising from the port expansion.

But the port expansion diagrams Transnet has provided to the media, and shown in public presentations, have not included plans for a small general aviation airport.


http://www.bdlive.co.za/business/tra...orts-operators
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Old October 3rd, 2012, 12:37 AM   #19
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Daily flights link Durban and Ulundi

October 2 2012 at 08:36am
By Suren Naidoo

Durban - Charter airline Federal Air and the Zululand District Municipality have announced the launch of daily direct flights between Durban’s Virginia Airport and Ulundi’s Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi Airport.

This follows the launch of scheduled flights by the light aviation operator between Pietermaritzburg Airport and Ulundi in July. It also comes in the wake of the KZN Treasury allocating R30 million for the upgrade of Ulundi airport.

“Business people, government and tourists will be able to fly directly to Ulundi from Virginia Airport every weekday… The direct link between Durban and Ulundi would make travel safer and quicker,” said Zululand District mayor Zanele kaMagwaza-Msibi.

Troy Reiser, managing director of Federal Air, said the airline was proud to be a partner in the initiative by the provincial government and the district to bring an air service to these vital regional centres. - The Mercury


http://www.iol.co.za/news/south-afri...3#.UGssd03MgXs
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Old October 3rd, 2012, 03:26 AM   #20
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Once again a total lack of depth not relevant coverage in that business day piece. How can it be foiled when transnet own the land thsy want to build a port on in conjunction with the city?? The press needs a serious wake up in standards
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