SAAF hopes to have Waterkloof back by July

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The South African Air Force hopes to return its main transport hub, Air Force Base Waterkloof in Pretoria to operational status by July.  
The airbase is currently closed for renovations that include the reconstruction of its main and secondary runways as well as taxiways, drainage and other infrastructure.
Air Force chief Lt Gen Carlo Gagiano says work on the R700 million project has been delayed by heavy summer rain.
Work on Phase 1of the project – the main runway and some related infrastructure – was meant to be complete by end-June, allowing the flying service to resume operations from there – rather than OR Tambo International Airport and Swartkop Airfield – in June.
“It has been a little bit delayed… hopefully by June-July we will be ready to move back,” Gagiano said. “It is very important for us.”
He notes rain has not been an issue as much as draining off the water. “There were times we had continuous rain for a long time, some substantial rain… There is a shopping centre going up near my house and I noticed they also battled with huge dams of water.”
Gagiano says alternative flying operations from Swartkop, OR Tambo and Lanseria are expensive. “…it is costing us a lot of money to keep the VIP aircraft at OR Tambo, the people moving backwards and forward, the security, it is very expensive and we`d like to regroup back at Waterkloof.”