16 April 2010
South Africa’s new international airport, the King Shaka International Airport situated outside Durban, came through a major trial exercise with flying colours on Thursday, the Airports Company South Africa (Acsa) reports.
The mass trial at the airport at La Mercy involved the participation of an estimated 800 “fake passengers” and 300 staff members as part of the last leg of rigorous checks to ensure its readiness ahead of its big day on 1 May, when it becomes operational.
“This trial has shown that King Shaka International is more than ready on all operations at the airport from landing and passenger [and] luggage transfer, to safety and security, as well as road infrastructure, traffic around the airport, car rental and retail facilities and readiness of our personnel,” said airport GM Terence Delomoney.
The trial marks the culmination of the operational readiness and transfer programme, and shows that the airport is fully functional ahead of its official opening ahead of the 2010 Fifa World Cup™.
The airport will be replacing the existing Durban International Airport, which will see its last flight out of Durban on 30 April. King Shaka International is situated approximately 65 kilometres from Durban International.
“We are all excited about the move to King Shaka International Airport, and are all committed towards ensuring a seamless change-over to King Shaka International,” said Delomoney. “We urge passengers to access information about the move on our website and to be part of this historical moment.”
Acsa said the airport would contribute to the creation of between 165 000 and 260 000 direct and indirect jobs over the next 20 years.
The new airport will be able to process 7.5-million passengers a year, and will alleviate pressure on the Durban-Johannesburg route by transporting more than 50 000 tons of manufactured goods produced in the region directly from the local airport.