|IATA: PRY – ICAO: FAWB
|Owner||City of Pretoria|
|Location||Pretoria, South Africa|
|Elevation AMSL||1,248 m / 4,095 ft|
The airport was opened in 1937, being built on the farm Wonderboom approximately 15 km north of Pretoria. Originally a civilian airstrip for light aircraft, it was used for military training purposes during the Second World War before returning to civilian control in 1945. The airport remains a light aircraft facility to this day.
In 1965, the airport was extensively extended, with a new terminal building and hangars being constructed as well as the runway being extended. This led to Wonderboom Airport being able to receive its first Boeing 737 in 1982. In 1993, the runway was again upgraded to its present length of 1,828 m.
Airport management passed to the Greater Pretoria Metropolitan Council in December 1994. Towards the end of 2000, ownership passed to Pretoria.
Scheduled service plans
In 2007, plans were mooted by the City of Pretoria for scheduled passenger service from Wonderboom Airport. The municipality spent R165.5 million in order to upgrade the airport in anticipation of passenger flights. In July 2009, it was announced that scheduled passenger service to Cape Town and Durban was due to commence in October 2009.
The airport will initially be able to cope with 450 departing and 400 incoming passengers per hour. It is believed that there is a market for passenger service, mainly Pretoria residents that do not wish to commute to OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg; an estimated 25%-30% of passengers using OR Tambo are Pretoria residents.
Accidents and incidents
- On 24 August 1998, Aero Modifications International DC-3-65TP ZS-NKK of Speed Service Couriers crashed on take-off. The aircraft had been in maintenance and the elevator trim had been left in the full nose-up position. The pilot failed to carry out pre-flight checks and did not notice the position of the trim tab. One of the two crew was killed. The aircraft was on a mail flight to Durban International Airport.