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Hoedspruit’s amazing Aerotel - An unforgettable experience
Zandspruit - Move to a Better Place October 2021
AV I AT I ON I N T HE
LOWV EL D With the decline in mining and primary production, the tourism sector has become one of the most important to the South African economy. After the Western Cape the Lowveld is the most important region for this tourism growth. Until the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Lowveld aviation industry was growing strongly as the key supplier for air connectivity to international tourism. Kruger Mpumalanga Pre-Covid-19 the number of scheduled flights operating out of Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport (KMIA) near Nelspruit and White River was steadily increasing.
on the airport property and the abundance of small antelope and monkeys adds to the safari experience at KMIA. KMIA’S location provides an excellent base for international visitors to the Kruger National Park, the Blyde River National Park, upmarket lodges in the Hazyview area as well as the tourist attractions and waterfalls that the towns of Sabie, Pilgrims Rest and Graskop have to offer.
an abundance of general aviation operations across the Lowveld
The KMIA terminal building has its unique charm as one of the largest thatch structures in the country. Making a memorable first impression, tourist cameras capture their first African safari experience before even leaving the terminal for the many world-class game lodges in the region. An authentic bonus is the wildlife that is kept
Nelspruit Airfield Before KMIA, Nelspruit Airfield was the hub for regional flights to the Lowveld operated by Airlink. Nelspruit Airfield is also home to a
Aviation in the Lowveld is a key enabler of tourism and scenic flights.
number of Part 135 private transfer operators, helicopter operators and scenic flight services. With the move of scheduled carriers to KMIA, Nelspruit Airfield management needed to rethink their approach to business and the sustainability of the airport. The airfield established itself as the first choice for general aviation maintenance, the base for
a number of Approved Training Organisations (ATO) and home to the Kishugu (Working on Fire) group with a large fleet of Bell 205 helicopter and Cessna fixed wing aircraft. Nelspruit Airfield is home to a number of Approved Maintenance Organisations (AMOs) that deliver world class service in both the avionics as well as maintenance services.
Kruger Mpumalanga Airport before Covid-19.
Nelspruit Airfield is home to a number of essential service operators such as Working on Fire.
Nelspruit is an airport with a strong sense of community and a visit normally ends with convivial drinks at Lowveld Aero Club. Catching up with old friends and meeting new people is the essence of a flying community.
expansion under the guidance of Ms Lente Roode of nearby Kapama Game Lodge. Airlink and CemAir are providing scheduled flights across Southern Africa. The terminal drop-off and parking areas have been substantially enlarged and the passenger numbers are already putting the small facility leased from the military base under strain.
Apart from KMIA and Nelspruit Airfields, there is an abundance of general aviation operations across the Lowveld. Micro Aviation has built an excellent track record building and supporting the large number of Bat Hawk microlights.
A further characteristic of the Lowveld GA environment is the plethora of private airfields that service the game lodges, again testimony to how strongly the aviation industry is thriving in the Lowveld.
Hoedspruit Further north, Hoedspruit is growing fast. Almost all the available space on the east side of the Hoedspruit Civil runway has now been developed for large hangars. This growth has been particularly evident since the Hoedspruit Flying Club tarred the Hoedspruit Civil runway a few years ago. Also, well-known AMO Ian Greenwood has now established himself at Hoedspruit Civil. Despite a lack of certainty in dealing with the Department of Public Works and the SAAF, Eastgate Airport has been enjoying steady
j In Hoedspruit the landmark Aerotel is growing with the addition of a Boeing 727-200.
– the Iconic New Landmark
Specialist destination accommodation is the new wave in tourism for those seeking an unforgettable travel experience. HOEDSPRUIT’S AEROTEL is a wonderfully innovative new venture that rides the wave of specialist experiences. Its success is a symbol of how well the Lowveld is growing as a tourist destination.
the beautifully finished lux ur y inter ior is being fully preser ved
transport and the beautifully finished luxury interior is being fully preserved. This retains the presidential cabin in the rear, a lounge and two additional suites. All suites still have the original bathrooms, with just a shower having been added. Martin and Tracy den Dunnen have gone to great lengths to preserve the aircraft’s original For aviation enthusiasts the complexities of the B727 is a must-see.
Launched less than a year ago – at 10.00 am on 10 October 2020, with a Boeing 737-200, the owner, Martin den Dunnen, has already taken delivery of a second Boeing – this time a B727 ‘3-holer’. The new B727 is the perfect complement to the six rooms currently available in the B737. The key difference is that the new B727 will have just three rooms with a large private lounge and so will be let out as a whole unit – for families and friends. A unique attraction is that the B727 will provide guests with a genuine presidential experience as it was the State President of Djibouti’s executive October 2021
systems. Even the electrical power will still be from the Boeing’s 115v 400 HZ power – ingeniously supplied by an electric motor that drives the aircraft’s original APU generator.
Visionary Martin den Dunnen with the second Boeing (a B727) for the Aerotel.
The B727 comes with its own airstair door at the rear, and for access to the front cabins Martin den Dunnen has a set of airliner stairs. In addition, there will be ground handling equipment to further authenticate the experience of boarding your own presidential jet. For any aviation buff the new B727 is fascinating in its completeness and is in excellent condition. This is due to the fact that it had completed its C-check at OR Tambo when the decision was made to dispose of the aircraft as its noisy JT-8D engines were banned from European airspace. The flight deck looks as though the crew has stepped out for a moment. The complexity is fascinating. In the tail the enormous S-duct that feeds the middle engine has been left out so you can see the engine buried in the tailcone and look up into the huge vertical fin. Even though it was a regional airliner, the size and design are a thrill. The new VIP Aerotel should be open in time for the festive season – although Martin den Dunnen has not committed to a formal opening date at time of writing. A visit is highly recommended. Aerotel: Call - 087 6556 737 or visit: https://www.aerotel.co.za/
For an authentic experience, all the original VVIP Presidential jet fittings are being preserved.
The Aerotel has lessons for SAA!
ZANDSPRUIT AERO ESTATE
– Final Stands now available! The Zandspruit Bush and Aero Estate in Hoedspruit is a pioneering air park estate – where you can live in a game reserve and have a hangar as part of your house with direct access to the Estate’s private runway. THIS IS A DREAM LIFESTYLE that has appealed to many pilots and aircraft owners and there has been a steady demand for stands. Already 90 houses have been completed so the estate is well established. An informal flying club is already growing community spirit with regular social events and well-attended annual fly-ins. Unfortunately, the crowd line requirements in the new air show regulations make it unlikely that we will see another Zandspruit Air Show.
Idyllic Zandspruit with Mariepskop behind.
Zandspruit Estate is in Hoedspruit, with a convenience of a full range of shops and restaurants just 1.2km away. The estate carries the full complement of plains game, so it is safe
to walk or cycle – yet there is the potential thrill of seeing the shy leopards that frequent the area. Hyaena calls can be regularly heard filling the night air. The estate is sustainably managed with an effective Board of Directors. Good news is that there is still just one hangar stand available. In addition, there are the last 14 released stands available from developer, Martin den Dunnen.
For those looking to retire to the warm sunny climate of the lowveld the launch of the Zandspruit retirement village is expected to happen soon. This retirement community will have 200 units – available either under full or sectional title. A Care Hub, with the emphasis on Home Care,
will be available, and a game viewer vehicle will allow residents to enjoy the Estate’s plains’ game.
The last home/hangar stand is available.
Demand for the retirement village has been strong. To reserve your stand, register your interest by contacting Zandspruit on 015 793 0081 For those starting out on a tighter budget, the affordable Zandspruit Valley housing development is making steady progress. There are a total of 137 stands with 41 already having been built. Prices range from a very affordable entry level R995,000 for a 1 bed 1 bath unit, to R1.5m for a 3 bedroom 2 bathroom unit. For sales, contact Campfire Properties on 015-793-0081 j
Zandpruit has a wonderful and highly qualified aviation community - L to R: Koos and Linda Kieck, (ex SAAF) Debbie and Glenn Wheeldon (ex SAA).
Zandspruit Valley is an affordable housing development with complete houses from less than a R1 million.
Estate Size 1 000 hectares Only 200 Full Title stands Over 90% sold out House styles are Pavilion, Farmhouse and Thatch An untouched wilderness area of 650ha for Game viewing Breathtaking mountain views Sundowner locations and waterholes within the wilderness area Hard surfaced internal roads 1 000m paved, private runway Magnificent trees along the 4km riverfront Bird hide, view points and walking trails Close to all retailers, doctors, restaurants and recreational facilities of Hoedspruit (2km)
FLY TO A BETTER PLACE email@example.com www.zandspruit.co.za
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Die Ryshuis, R527, Hoedspruit
KRUGER MPUMALANGA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT KRUGER MPUMALANGA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT KMI commenced operations in 2002 and has moved over 3 million passengers across the skies of Mbombela, affording new opportunities to the tourism and business industries of the province. This ICAO approved International Airport with a runway of 3.1km can accommodate the large Boeing 747 and Airbus series. The Airport also prides itself on being the holders of a Fire and Rescue Category 7 International Aerodrome License. The African theme inspired terminal building boasts the largest thatch constructed airport in the world, a true aviation masterpiece. The unique aesthetics and decor of the building blend in with the surrounding bushveld, which has become a favourite landmark among passengers visiting the beautiful province of Mpumalanga, South Africa. We aim to ensure all development is sustainable and respectful of the local community and our environment
Your Adventure starts here! Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport (KMI Airport), the gateway to the iconic Kruger National Park, located in Nelspruit Mpumalanga is an ICAO approved International Airport with a runway of 3.1km which can accommodate Boeing 737,747,767 and Airbus series. At the Airport: • Stylish Conference & Training facilities • Venue hire options • Executive Lounges • Restaurants, Coffee shops & Accommodation • Souvenirs, Arts & Crafts, Gallery and more
• • • • • • • •
Shuttles & Transfers Car Rentals ATM’s Charter services FBO services Cargo Bag wrap Free Wifi
We are continually developing our airport, with the aim to provide more choice, better facilities and greater value for our passengers, while always keeping true to what we do best – making your journey convenient, easy and memorable. Visit www.kmiairport.co.za j
Tel: +27 (0)13 753 7500 • www.kmiairport.co.za
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The edge of the universe... October 2021
LEADING EDGE AVIATION LEADING EDGE AVIATION Leading Edge Aviation is an SACAA approved AMO and Part 127 AOC holder based at Nelspruit Airfield in Mpumalanga. Leading Edge Aviation (LEA) caters to numerous fields including firefighting, external lift operations, wildlife conservation and refurbishing and restoring of aircraft interiors and exteriors, including fitment of SACAA approved windows. Utilizing their UH-1H and UH-60 helicopters, LEA are perfectly positioned to meet your utility helicopter requirements. Whether you need supplies moved, wildlife relocated, construction equipment lifted or fire suppression carried out, LEA are available to assist. With lifting capabilities up to 3000kg’s, we use the latest equipment and vast experience to meet our clients needs.
In addition, LEA has the only SACAA approved painting booth in the Lowveld and carries out all painting using Boeing and Airbus approved products across the Cessna, Piper and Embraer and Beechcraft range. Our interior refurbishment division carries out the finest leather and upholstery work. All painting and leather work includes CRMAs for the applicable aircraft. Peter and the refurbishment team will ensure all your refurbishment expectations are met and exceeded. Feel free to contact Leading Edge Aviation with any queries: Tel: +27 13 7413654 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.leadingedgeaviation.co.za j
VAN HORN AVIATION Life without corrosion Safe composite construction Noise Reduction
Bell 206 B/L Main Rotor Blades - Better ride, better quality UH-1H Tail Rotor Blades – A stronger, more efficient choice Bell 206 B/L Tail Rotor Blades – 40% noise reduction AS350 Tail Rotor Blades – Coming Soon! Leading Edge Aviation People will always find new ways to crash a plane
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Tel: +27 13 741 3654 / 082 450 2097
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AEROTEL ZANDSPRUIT BUSH & AERO ESTATE ZANDSPRUIT ESTATES
KMI AIRPORT LEADING EDGE AVIATION
SA Flyer Magazine Supplement October 2021 Lowveld Aviation Companies Guide