The Minister of Transport and Communication Frank Ramsden said this recently when opening the new Francistown Airport in Francistown.
Civil Aviation Authority Botswana (CAAB) public affairs manager, Modipe Nkwe confirmed yesterday that the old airport buildings would be left for the uniformed forces.
"The airport will be left for the BDF and the Botswana Police Service to operate out of," he said. BDF director of the Directorate of Protocol and Public Affairs Paul Sharp said that even though they have always used the airport they welcome the new development.
"Please note that even though the BDF has been sharing the airport with Air Botswana, it was however, virtually at our disposal therefore we will carry on with our normal operations," he said. He further said that the increase in office space is also an added advantage.
"The availability of more office space is an advantage since
we were running out of office space," added Sharp.
Sharp went on to say that this airport serves the BDP well as far as resources are concerned.
"This airport serves us well due to its proximity to two Brigade units, in terms of airlifting soldiers or for any other operational requirement," he added. Sharp said that the BDF has been using the Francistown Airport since 1978.
According to records, Francistown airport was built in the 60s and belonged to Wenela Air Services. Apparently Wenela Air Services used to hire migrant workers from Malawi and other countries in the region for jobs on South African mines.
Wenela left in the mid 70s after its Douglas DC-4 aircraft crashed soon after take-off, killing 78 of the 84 people on board. It has been described as the worst aviation accident Botswana has ever experienced.