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Skukuza airport

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Skukuza airport

Unread postby KNP Spokesman » Thu Oct 05, 2006 10:38 am

Skukuza Airport hasn't ever really closed.
Not only are the SANParks aircraft permanently based there and operate there all the time, but there are chartered flights that land there from time to time.
All scheduled airliners now land at Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport (or KMIA).

That is the status quo of it at the moment.

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Unread postby johanrebel » Thu Nov 09, 2006 8:44 pm

Federal Air operates "scheduled charters" between Johannesburg (O.R. Tambo) and Skukuza. I use them from time to time when staying at Rhino Post or Plains Camp. As often as not, I am the only passenger at a more or less deserted airport. Weird, compared to the days when Comair/SA Express operated two or three daily F27/Dash 8 flights to Skukuza.

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Skukuza Airport

Unread postby Wildtuinman87 » Wed Sep 12, 2012 8:11 pm

Does the skukuza airport still exist, and to what extent does it function.
I last flew into Kruger in early 2000 via SA Express, and it was an experience worth treasuring.
Any other forumites that have had this rare privilege?
Thanks
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Re: Skukuza Airport

Unread postby DinkyBird » Wed Sep 12, 2012 8:23 pm

It still exists and is very functional.
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Re: Skukuza Airport

Unread postby johanrebel » Fri Sep 14, 2012 7:02 pm

Wildtuinman87 wrote:Any other forumites that have had this rare privilege?
I wouldn't describe it as rare even now, Federal Air can fly you in and out every day of the week, provided you stay at the right lodge.

I've been in and out of Skukuza more times than I can count, first with Comair, then SA Express, and finally FedAir. I got to know some of the Comair F50 pilots so well that I often spent the entire flight in the cockpit jumpseat. Those were the days!

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Re: Skukuza airport

Unread postby Bennievis » Sat Sep 15, 2012 6:25 am

I used to land at Skukuza almost on a weekly basis, en-route from Phalaborwa to Johannesburg.
Sometimes in a Dakota and later on with the "new" Fokkers 8)
At one stage Comair ran a weekly flight between Phalaborwa and Durban (on Thursdays), that flight also landed at Skukuza.
The flight between Phalaborwa and Skukuza took about 15 minutes if memory serves me right.
One of the sightings from the air I will always remember was of a huge baboon strolling down the road when we came in for the landing, he looked up at the plane and just carried on walking, like a seasoned ol' Jo'burg boy.

The Phalaborwa/Skukuza flight to Jhb can be real nasty and usually is.
The intense heat in summer causes terrible turbulence up there, resulting in what feels like a roller coaster ride.
Then, when you think it can't get any worse, you cross over the Drakensberg Mountains and you fly into where the hot air meets the cooler air of the highveld, and usually into a severe thunderstorm.
Ever spilled hot coffee onto your lap?
Thats when you switch to beer.. a cold one please :thumbs_up: (It also helped the nerves)

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Airport

Unread postby Mfezi » Tue Jun 18, 2013 9:27 pm

Recently, I read in a newspaper that the airport at Skukuza will be upgraded and that flights will once again be undertaken to the Kruger. Will the car rental at Skukuza then also move there? Any news about the progress about the airport upgrade? Just wandering.

Mods, please move this if this under the wrong section... Thanks!

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Re: Airport

Unread postby Stephens.L » Wed Jun 19, 2013 7:17 am

Daer Mfezi

Please note that a proposal to re-open the Skukuza Airport has been submitted to SANParks Board for approval. Once the board approves, a tender will be advertised. It is only then that we will know about car rental and other things.
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National flights to and from Skukuza

Unread postby gjorgi » Fri Jun 28, 2013 11:18 am

Hi there everyone.

There is a rumour doing the rounds that by the end of this year there will be national flights to and from Skukuza airport. Now I'm not talking about small little airplanes, I'm talking boeing size airplanes. Can anyone confirm this?

I for one think that if this is true it is just another step closer to turning Skukuza into Sun-City. An absolutely idiotic idea. What influence would this have on the surrounding wildlife especially birds when you have large passenger aircraft flying around (apparently 4 per day).

Again, I did not here this from an official source so more info would be appreciated.

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Re: National flights to and from Skukuza

Unread postby johanrebel » Tue Jul 02, 2013 11:14 pm

ndloti wrote:so why it is being reconsidered is beyond my understanding .
It is most certainly not beyond my understanding. Closing Skukuza to scheduled commercial flights and thus forcing them to move to the biggest White Elephant in all of Africa (KMIA) is one of the dumber things SANParks have done.

I used to fly in and out of Skukuza all the time (so often that I got to know the pilots and could fly in the cockpit jump seat), it was very convenient, much more so than Eastgate (Hoedspruit), Phalaborwa and the old Nelspruit, all of which I used occasionally. I've also flown from Skukuza via Londolozi to Mala Mala. Actually had to fly back to Skukuza because I'd left my binoculars in the car. That cost me R47 in landing fees.

Although scheduled flights were banned, they still allowed (and allow, as far as I know) "scheduled charters". A bit of a loophole, but convenient if you are staying at, say, Rhino Post or Plains Camp. Federal Air will fly you straight in from ORTIA. I've taken those flights quite a few times too, but it only works if you have a reservation for one of the private lodges in the KNP proper.

Johan

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Re: National flights to and from Skukuza

Unread postby johanrebel » Tue Jul 02, 2013 11:24 pm

Dabchick wrote:I think no. Not without major upgrading of the landing strip, which is probably too short and not able to handle heavy, wide-body, "Boeing-sized" planes. More likely the SA Airlink type of aircraft (Jetstream I think), which can only carry about 30 passengers, will fly the route.
Skukuza's runway is 1,550 x 30 m. That's long enough for a Boeing 738 to land, but not to depart again at maximum takeoff weight. (A 738 is not a widebody, by the way).

Airlink (no longer called SA Airlink) used to serve the old Nelspruit (NLP) with J41s. The runway there was 900 m long, and ended in a precipice. A bit on the tricky side, the airline's pilots had to be specially qualified to operate to that airport. Landing required touching down right on the threshold, and then immediately slamming on the brakes and the slamming props into reverse. Quite fun.

Johan

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SANParks announces successful operator for Skukuza Airport

Unread postby Lesego » Thu Aug 22, 2013 2:28 pm

The South African National Parks (SANParks) has today announced the appointment of a preferred operator for the Skukuza Airport in the iconic Kruger National Park.

SANParks, Chief Executive Officer, Dr. David Mabunda said the successful bid was submitted by the Skukuza Airport Management Company (Pty) Ltd jointly owned by Lion Sands, Federal Air and Airlink. The consortium will sign a Public Private Partnership (PPP) agreement with SANParks for a period of ten years.

The announcement follows a lengthy process of technical evaluation and adjudication of bids submitted in response to a Request for Proposals issued in April 2013.

According to Dr. Mabunda this development will benefit SANParks’ long haul clients and those from major centers who will no longer be subjected to a two hour drive from Nelspruit to the Kruger National Park. “We are reliving a tradition that started in 1959 to enhance visitor convenience and experience and we are looking forward to working with our new partners in taking the business of managing national parks assets to another level.”

In reacting to the announcement, Robert More, Lion Sands Co-founder and CEO said it is an absolute privilege to be involved in this venture. “Our lodges are all in close proximity to Skukuza and our customers will benefit significantly from re-opening the Skukuza airport to scheduled air services”.

Carl Trieloff, Commercial Director of Special Projects at Fed Air added, “We are proud to be part of the consortium behind the winning bid. We are looking forward to providing visitors the opportunity to experience a high quality affordable bushveld experience”.

Rodger Foster, Airlink’s CEO responded by saying his company is delighted to be in the consortium and looking forward to delivering scheduled air services to Skukuza, and access to all lodges within the Skukuza precinct. This is going to make travelling to the Kruger National Park simpler and affordable.

Skukuza Airport Management Company will be given access to the Skukuza airport facility from 1 September 2013, in order to commence with the alterations and improvements essential to bringing the airport to the international standard, which will include rehabilitation of the runway.

It is envisaged that the airport upgrades should be substantially completed by 1 November 2013 to achieve the necessary licensing by the SA Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA). It is anticipated that the licensing process will be completed before the first quarter of 2014 with scheduled flights set to commence in March 2014.

In conclusion, Dr. Mabunda said, SANParks was highly impressed with the successful bidder’s operational plan for the airport and its associated air services. “This included a comprehensive environmental management plan to limit the noise impact of operations overarching minimized environmental impact philosophy.”

Issued by:
South African National Parks (SANParks) Corporate Communications
Tel: 012 426 5065

Enquiries:
Reynold “Rey” Thakhuli
SANParks General Manager: PR, Media and Stakeholder Relations
Tel: 012 426 5203 cell: 073 373 4999
Email: rey.thakhuli@sanparks.org

or

Annemi van Jaarsveld
SANParks General Manager: Business Development
Tel:012 426 5027; Cell: 082888145
Email: annemi.vanjaarsveld@sanparks.org

or

Rob More
Lion Sands Co-Founder CEO
Tel: 011 880 9992
Email: Robert@morehotels.co.za

or

Karin Murray
Airlink
Tel: 011 451 7300
Email: karinmurray@flyairlink.com
Lesego Nko
Web forum and Online Stakeholder Relations
Lesego.nko@sanparks.org
Tel: (012) 426 5202

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Re: SANParks announces successful operator for Skukuza Airpo

Unread postby DinkyBird » Fri Aug 23, 2013 10:12 am

Here is an answer to your question Stark: Direct Kruger flights to launch
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Re: SANParks announces successful operator for Skukuza Airpo

Unread postby Stark » Fri Aug 23, 2013 3:27 pm

Thanks DB. :)

If done right, this could be a good benefit for SANParks and for far-flung travelers and the private reserve crowd. (The Starks are guilty on both counts)

We'd certainly take advantage of flying into the park as opposed to one of the outlying airports. Buy our supplies at Skukuza, stay the first night in SA in the park, rent our car there, and not have to rush to the airport on our last day. I'm sure it will make SANParks travels to and from the park for business far easier as well.

I do understand the concern for noise pollution, but twice-daily flights on what will most likely be smaller planes (if they're anything like the ones flying into Nelspruit) shouldn't be that bad, IMO. It sounds like it is also using current facilities that are just being fixed up so environmental impact should be small.

I hope the winning bidder utilizes the local communities to build jobs.
Last edited by Stark on Fri Aug 23, 2013 4:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Skukuza airport

Unread postby saraf » Wed Oct 30, 2013 12:30 pm

There are some details about the Skukuza Airport included in today's media release.
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