Magazine article New African

Take off for Kick Off: Preparations to Welcome Some Half-a-Million Football Fans to South Africa for the June Kick-Off of the 2010 Fifa World Cup Include the Effort by Africa's Aviation Industry to Be Ready for the Massive Numbers of International Visitors Arriving by Air. Stephaen Williams Reports

Magazine article New African

Take off for Kick Off: Preparations to Welcome Some Half-a-Million Football Fans to South Africa for the June Kick-Off of the 2010 Fifa World Cup Include the Effort by Africa's Aviation Industry to Be Ready for the Massive Numbers of International Visitors Arriving by Air. Stephaen Williams Reports

Article excerpt

The huge challenge that the 2010 Fifa World Cup represents to Africa's aviation industry has been met by the host country's Airports Company of South Africa (ACSA) embarking on a R17bn ($2.2l5bn) programme of airport expansions, upgrades and new facilities. Justifying the money being poured into the country's airports, the government believes that South Africa's tourism figures will rise year-on-year for the foreseeable future. Over nine million tourists visited South Africa in 2007, and tourism authorities believe that even with the global economic downturn, more than 10 million tourists will visit the country this year, thanks in part to the Fifa 2010 tournament,

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

At Johannesburg's main airport, the OR Tambo International Airport, the central terminal building has received more than $300m in investment to add 110,000sq metres of new terminal space on five levels; a 40,000sq metre upgraded single international arrivals area; 75 new check-in counters; 44 transfer desks; 24 international to domestic recheck counters; 48 new passport control counters; and two new domestic and 10 new international baggage carousels.

This upgrade is designed to enable OR Tambo airport, South Africa's principle international gateway, to handle an average two million arrival and departure passengers each month. The airport will also have a state-of-the-art command and control headquarters, from which all the logistical and operational aspects of the 2010 Fifa World Cup, as it relates to the nation's aviation services, will be handled.

Bongani Maseko, ACSA's operations director, says: "It will host air traffic navigation services, the ground handlers, government agencies, customs, home affairs officials, the national intelligence agency, the South African police service and everybody else who is involved in processing passengers. What the centre is really meant to do is improve the efficiency of passengers coming in and out and to reduce the impact of delays."

While OR Tambo is, and will remain, South Africa's and Africa's busiest airport, a huge investment has also been made in building the country's newest international airport at la Mercy, north of Durban in KwaZulu Natal province. Construction of the $1bn new airport began in 2006 and it is just one part of the Dube Trade-Port development designed to rapidly inject new economic growth and attract more than a quarter of a million jobs to the region.

The airport, named King Shaka International Airport after the legendary Zulu monarch, opens for commercial operations on 1 May. The existing Durban International Airport will cease operations at midnight on 30 April and all operations will transfer to King Shaka whose 3.7km runway (unlike the old airport's runway which measures just 2.4km) can accommodate the world's biggest new passenger aircraft such as the Boeing A380 and Boeing 747s.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Last month [February] 600 volunteers put the new airport through its paces, testing the baggage check-in and reclaim facilities and also simulating an emergency evacuation of the building. The airport management announced that all operations were effective and the new airport would be able to handle the forecast eight million passengers who will use it each year, before further building stages increase runway and terminal capacities sixfold over the next 50 years. A new, second runway is currently scheduled to be built by 2035 on the opposite side of the airport terminal.

Meanwhile, Cape Town International Airport has also undergone extensive construction work in preparation for the Fifa 2010 World Cup and the fans who will be arriving in Cape Town from major cities in Europe, South America, Asia and other parts of Africa. Improvements include a radical upgrade of the Central Terminal Building (CTB), which will house a Central Processing Unit (CPU) from which both international and domestic departures are handled at 120 check-in desks and 20 self-service check-in machines. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.