Airports ready for busy season ahead
Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) and its stakeholders are ready for the 5.7 million departing and arriving passengers expected to pass through ACSA airports over the busy two months of June and July. This is some 600 000 additional passengers when compared against the same period last year.
“Over the past couple of years, passenger traffic has been showing sustained growth as a result of burgeoning economy, affordable tickets through low cost airlines and growing foreign tourism figures. Whilst ACSA appreciates this increase in travellers, it is important to sensitise passengers to the fact that our infrastructure will be under some pressure especially over the June/July period,” says Solomon Makgale, ACSA’s Communications Manager.
It all starts this weekend in Cape Town with the tri-nations game between South Africa and Australia, the Great White Shark and Vodacom Funny festivals. On Sunday, thousands of local and foreign marathon runners, accompanied by their supporters, head for KwaZulu-Natal for the annual Comrades' Marathon.
Just one week later, government schools across the country and tertiary institutions close for the mid-year holiday, which normally sets off a flurry of domestic and outbound international travel through Durban, O.R. Tambo and Cape Town international airports in particular.
Durban is currently preparing for the winter festival with many activities planned for visitors and locals that will be coming to Durban during June/July. This is in addition to the rugby tri-nations game between the Springboks and the All Blacks on 23rd June. Other calendar events during this month include the world-famous Knysna Oyster Festival which kicks off on 30 June.
The month of July promises to be exciting for many South Africans, especially with the country's glamorous Durban July Handicap event on July 7th and the annual July Beach Festival, the Durban Fashion Week during July and the Vodacom Challenge, Kaizer Chiefs and Tottenham Hotspurs.
These two teams, including Orlando Pirates, will be playing matches in Durban, Johannesburg and Cape Town from 18th to 28th July 2007 as part of the Vodacom Challenge.
These events will be followed by travel activity due to the resumption of the second semester for schools and tertiary institutions.
During this busy period, parking will become a challenge. In order to alleviate the pressure, additional parking bays have been opened at O.R. Tambo and Cape Town international airports. At O.R. Tambo’s long term parking facility at Super South near Emperors Palace, 500 gravel bays have been made available. At Cape Town, additional 600 bays were opened to the public recently. Passengers using Cape Town International are once again reminded that due to construction work taking place there, a number of pedestrian walkways have been diverted.
“Our primary objective is to make every passenger's trip as safe, enjoyable and memorable as possible. We always endeavour to ensure a that we provide a world class customer service when passengers arrive at an ACSA airport, they able to find parking, retrieve luggage trolleys and clear security within a reasonable time.
"We do, however, require passengers' co-operation if we are to realise this ambition. Passengers are urged to plan their trips properly and allow sufficient time for travelling to the airport, finding parking and checking-in all of which may add unnecessary stress and tension to all involved,” Makgale concludes.
For more information, contact Solomon Makgale, Communications Manager, Airports Company South Africa on 082 781 8863.