Johannesburg - Eastern Cape transport MEC Thandiswa Marawu has officially handed over the Mthatha airport to a contractor to be upgraded.
The site was handed to Ruwacon on Tuesday, Marawu said in a statement.
"The terminal building upgrade project is expected to improve the airport's capacity, as we are planning to intensify our lobbying for more airlines to service the route between Mthatha and Johannesburg as well as between Mthatha and Durban," she said.
Marawu said the airport also intended to have a service between Cape Town and Mthatha.
In phase one of the project, Ruwacon was expected to build a new terminal building, and a car hire building with parking and washing bay facilities.
The company would also build a refuelling facility, perimeter security fence, roads, and complete the sewerage system.
The first phase of the project was expected to be completed in 12 months.
"This project will enable government to unlock the economic growth potential of the region and the province as a whole as it provides access to the internationally renowned Wild Coast and other historic heritage sites," Marawu said.
Phase two of the project involved building a commercial property development targeting retail, conferencing and hospitality facilities.
Phase three included the building of cargo facilities.
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