R11bn upgrade for Joburg airport

24 May 2006

Johannesburg International Airport is to spend R3.4-billion upgrading security and facilities ahead of the 2010 Football World Cup – and another R8-billion by 2012 on building a new terminal to meet the demand of fast-growing passenger numbers.

The upgrades will also ready the airport for handling the giant Airbus A380 and for accommodating the Gautrain rapid rail link between the airport, Johannesburg and Pretoria.

The R3.4-billion represent’s the lion’s share of Airports Company South Africa’s (Acsa’s) R5.2-billion infrastructure expansion programme for its three main airports – Joburg, Cape Town and Durban International – and seven smaller airports ahead of 2010.

The new R8-billion terminal, according to Business Day, will be built in the open space between two runways at the airport, and will have its own domestic and international check-in facilities to help ease traffic flow and cut processing time at the current main terminal.

Joburg International, Africa’s biggest and busiest airport, handled 16.1-million passengers in the year to 31 March, an 11% increase on the year before, and is expected to handle in the region of 21-million passengers a year by 2010.

Acsa said in a statement on Monday that a number of key projects at the three airports were already in full swing.

Planned projects include a new R1.8-billion central terminal building linking the international and domestic terminals, to enabling central processing – with easy access to the Gautrain – for both domestic and international passengers.

A further R218-million will be spent on nine new aircraft stands with air-bridge links directly to the new terminal, four of which will be able to accommodate the double-decker A380.

A R512-million “international pier” development will allow for a substantial increase in the number of passengers boarding and disembarking through air bridges, provide additional passenger holding space and offer an expanded duty-free mall for international passengers.

R81-million will also be spent on expanding the international departures concourse to “relieve the congestion currently being experienced at the international check-in area,” Acsa said.

And a second multi-storey parkade, the first phase of which is scheduled to open in November 2007, will add 5 000 more parking bays to the airport’s current 6 900 bays.

Joburg International GM Chris Hlekane told Business Day that security at the airport had already been beefed with the construction of a 25 kilometre perimeter wall and strengthened access control at the gates at total cost of R52.5-million.

Cape Town, Durban International
Acsa also detailed some of the key projects for South Africa’s second- and third-largest airports, Cape Town and Durban International, both of which have been experiencing pressure from domestic and international traffic growth.

At Cape Town International, Acsa plans to spend R900-million on a new central terminal building which will integrate the international and domestic terminals into a single passenger processing unit.

The terminal, to be served by air-bridges, will also incorporate an elevated road, similar to Joburg International, which will separate the arrivals from the departures and “change the face of Cape Town International Airport completely”.

The airport will also begin construction this year on a R160-million multi-storey parkade with 2 500 parking bays, to add to the R100-million, 2 000-bay parkade just completed.

Durban International has also begun construction of a R90-million, 1 500-bay multi-storey parkade (MSP), and plans are in place to expand the airport’s existing terminal and provide more check-in and baggage reclaim facilities.

SouthAfrica.info reporter

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