Durban - Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) today announced that it held a successful mass trial at the newly constructed King Shaka International Airport (KSIA) located in La Mercy to demonstrate the airport’s functionality and readiness to handle passenger and aircrafts movements come 1 May 2010.
During the testing trial, an estimated 800 “fake passengers” and 300 staff members took part in the exercise undergoing the final leg of rigorous checks to ensure preparedness on the client facing side of the business.
“This trial has shown that King Shaka International is more than ready on all operations at the airport from landing and passenger/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 Terence Delomoney, General Manager of King Shaka International Airport. “The trial sees the culmination of the Operational Readiness and Transfer Program (ORAT) and it shows that King Shaka International Airport is now 100% functional ahead of its official opening and of the 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup.”
King Shaka International Airport will be replacing the existing Durban International Airport, which will eventually be decommissioned. It has a terminal floor area of 103,000m², runways and taxiways covering 400,000m² and facilities to support the airport, including administration offices and transit accommodations for tourists.
Strategic location – On the move on 1 May 2010
30 April 2010, will see the last flight out of Durban International Airport after which the switch over will occur, with King Shaka International Airport becoming operational on 1 May 2010.
“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. We urge passengers to access information about the move on our website and to be part of this historical moment” said Delomoney.
“The new airport will be able to process 7,5 million passengers per annum and in addition will alleviate the pressure on the Durban-Johannesburg route by facilitating more than 50 000 tons of manufactured goods produced in the region directly from the local airport.
An important economic spin-off of King Shaka International is the creation of between 165 000 and 260 000 jobs over the next 20 years, directly and indirectly.
The project of building a new airport was mooted during the 70s and some infrastructural work was completed between 1975 and 1982 before the project was halted. It was revived in the 1990s and extensive research and analysis were conducted to decide whether it was better to relocate or upgrade the existing Durban International Airport. But it is only in July 2006 that it was concluded that the existing airport, even when fully developed, would not provide enough capacity for the region. KSIA was designed by Osmond Lange Architects and Planners. The contract to build the airport was awarded to Ilembe Consortium, comprising Group Five, Mvelaphanda Holdings and WBHO Construction. Site work commenced on 31 August 2007.
For more information, please contact:
Manager: Communications and Brand
Durban International Airport
Airports Company South Africa
Fax: +27 (0) 31 451 6672