O.R. Tambo has taken a giant step closer to readiness to host the 2010 Soccer World Cup. Passengers and visitors to O.R. Tambo International Airport will soon be able to experience Africa’s largest airport construction free. As of 1 April 2009 the R2.3 billion Central Terminal Building (CTB) development is will be fully operational.
With the completion of the CTB passengers will be able to enjoy a fully complete multi-level terminal building that links the existing two terminals. In line with existing airport flow, departures activity will be predominantly on the upper level with arrivals activity on the ground level. The mezzanines will offer retail facilities and basements will be in use for services and baggage handling.
The departures level that is being opened today is the final phase of the CTB to be completed. It connects to the existing domestic departures check-in hall adding another 75 check-in counters.
With the completion of the CTB come some operational changes at the airport. The enlarged departures hall will be used by both domestic and international airlines to process passengers for check-in.
As a result of the new departures terminal being used to check-in both international and domestic travelling passengers the terminal can no longer be referred to as domestic or international. O.R. Tambo International Airport has therefore made the decision to follow the lead of other international airports that name terminals either numerically or alphabetically.
The airport will still have two terminals, which will in future be known as Terminal A and Terminal B. Terminal A will extend from the CTB atrium to the north (previously the international terminal) and Terminal B will extend south (previously the domestic terminal).
The check-in counters in Terminal A Departures hall will continue to be used for international flights only. All domestic flights will also continue to check-in in Terminal B Departures, with the international airlines that will move into the terminal.
International airlines moving to Terminal B
The airlines offering international services that will move to Terminal B as of 1 April 2009 are:
- SAA, SA Express and Airlink
- Air Zimbabwe
- Air Mauritius
Other airlines that will also move on dates to be confirmed are:
- Air Madagascar
- Air Tanzania
- Cathay Pacific
- Egypt Air
Although passengers of airlines that process both international and domestic passengers (such as SAA) may do so from the same bank of check-in counters, once checked-in domestic passengers will make their way to the security check point leading to boarding gates C, D and E while those travelling internationally will make their way to the new security check point leading to boarding gates A in Terminal A.
For passengers and visitors to the airport the consolidation of international and domestic processing for departing passengers into one terminal means an overall improved airport visitor experience. This will be achieved by:
- Reduced congestion
- Improved queue management and
- Improved aircraft on-time departure performance
- Easy orientation for the travelling public approaching the terminal and within the building
The consolidation allows the airport and our stakeholders to be more efficient in the use of existing infrastructure, thus minimising the dependence on more construction of new buildings to create capacity.
Assistance for passengers and airport visitors
Passengers and visitors will have to know which terminal their airline of choice is operating from. Passengers should obtain this information at the time of booking their tickets.
The airport anticipates that there will be some confusion for some members of the public. Additional iHelp Agents have been posted throughout the terminal buildings to provide assistance. They can be identified by the orange waistcoats they wear. Visitors can also get information from the information desks located on the arrivals levels of both Terminals A and B.
For any airport related queries the public can also call the ACSA information line on 086 727 7888.
We are ready for 2010!
At the beginning of May when the new Terminal A arrivals hall for international arriving passengers is complete, the airport terminal upgrade will be over 95% complete. Other projects that have been completed in the past two years are:
- International Pier
- Terminal A Departures Upgrade
- Duty Free Mall Extension
- Multi-storey Parking Extension
The airport looks forward to welcoming visitors to the country during 2010 construction free.