New Cape Town Airport terminal opens

9 November 2009

Work on Cape Town International Airport’s R1.6-billion, five-storey central terminal building has been completed and both international and domestic passengers will use the new consolidated check-in area from this weekend onwards.

The new terminal significantly enhances the airport’s capacity with 120 check-in counters, 20 self-service check-in machines and a consolidated security screening point, all housed in an area of 50 000 square metres.

“Over the past few months the airport team has been working very hard to ensure a smooth transition from the old terminal to the new one,” Cape Town International Airport communications manager Diedre Hendricks said in a statement last week.

“It has taken much collaboration between Airports Company South Africa (Acsa), the airlines, the government agencies, retailers and the entire value chain – as an airport community, we are extremely proud of the new terminal.”

Increased retail presence

Not only has the check-in facilities been enhanced, but the retail facility has almost doubled, moving from 44 retailers and restaurants to 74. The expansion will bring in brands such as Ocean Basket, Woolworths, Steers and a Spur of 1 000 square meters – seating up to 500 people, it will be the biggest in the Western Cape.

The terminal also boasts a new R103-million baggage sortation system that operates 3 000 bags per hour and is fully automated, as well as additional passenger loading bridges – a first for domestic users.

To improve vehicular movement at the airport, the road network is also undergoing an upgrade, with a new drop off road situated right in front of the terminal building. The entire road network project will be completed in March 2010 at a cost of R120-million.

Passenger assistance

Acsa is ensuring that airport workers, as well as 80 temporary staff, are on hand to assist passengers as they come to grips with the new central terminal building.

“We know that the changes may disorientate airport users – this is why we have gone out of our way to assist airport users,” said Hendricks. “It’s been a rather busy morning for everyone – both passengers and airport staff as we all become accustomed to the new processes.”

Acsa is also urging airport users to play their part and to add an extra 30 minutes onto their travel time.

“The airport has changed and it is important that you give yourself sufficient time to move through all the processes,” said Hendricks.

This does not mark the end of construction at the airport and the next few months will still be full of activity. Other projects to be completed in March 2010 include the consolidated car rental facility, a transport plaza, a multi-storey parkade and aircraft parking stands.

SAinfo reporter

Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo material