Security plans around baggage pilferage management as well as the company’s environmental management and rehabilitation plans for Blaauwpan Dam.
Traffic Growth and Infrastructural Development
Traffic growth at O.R. Tambo has risen sharply in recent years with total passenger numbers increasing from just over the 12 million mark in 2002 to over 17 million passengers by the end of 2006. ACSA’s forecasts show that O.R. Tambo will be handling at least 24 million passengers a year by the end of 2010.
As part of ACSA’s plan to manage this influx of passengers in the near future, all major projects related to ACSA’s R5.2 billion infrastructural development plans. Of the R5,2 billion, R3,5 billion will be spent at O.R. Tambo and developments are on track for completion in time for the 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup. “We are very pleased with the progress we have made to date. We have reached critical stages with regards to certain projects which will impact passengers over the next couple of months. We apologise for the inconvenience these developments will cause but we have put measures in place to mitigate issues such as noise and dust,” Hlekane says. He reported on the latest envisaged completion dates for the various projects, including:
- Central Terminal Building- last quarter of 2009
- International Pier- Phase1( Pier; Bus station; Link passage; Arrivals corridor): May 2007, Phase 2(Retail mall extension; Mezzanine lounges) May 2008
- Terminal A Departures Upgrade (TADU)- New Upper Roadway: April 2007 Extended International
- Departures Concourse-mid 2008
- Multi Storey Parkade- Initial offering of 250 bays in July 2007 and a further 1000 bays end of
- 2007. Final completion is first quarter of 2009
Plans for an alternative pedestrian route between the International and Domestic Terminal buildings on the upper roadway at O.R. Tambo were also unveiled as construction to extend and upgrade the existing International Departures level begins in May this year. ACSA will employ temporary staff to hand out flyers and assist passengers find the new, temporary pedestrian route that goes alongside the upper roadway and through the existing Multi Storey Parkade between the two terminal buildings. The pedestrian route is expected to be in operation for at least one year.
As a consequence to large increases in passenger numbers and the subsequent infrastructural developments, security at ACSA’s flagship airport was highlighted when Hlekane revealed increased security measures particularly in the areas of airport access and baggage security.
In terms of staff access control to the various zones within O.R. Tambo International, the R28 million new biometric access card and zoning system, will be further enhanced with additional security features. Hlekane elaborated, “The new system will automatically send out an alert when unauthorised persons violate a zone. This will be followed by an immediate investigation into the zone violation, followed by strict disciplinary action, including in some cases, access permits being withdrawn and the person in question banned from working at the airport.”
ACSA also strongly committed itself to pro-actively managing baggage pilferage at O.R. Tambo by introducing new security initiatives. These include the identification of baggage pilferage hotspots, the appointment of a Baggage Make-Up Manager, further interaction and co-operation with airlines and baggage handling companies and ensuring that the technology, processes and contract security in this area are properly coordinate and function as efficiently and effectively as possible.
Hlekane added: “Management of baggage pilferage needs to be coordinated between all the different stakeholders (airlines, baggage handling companies, SAPS and ACSA) involved. We take this seriously and are working closely with all stakeholders to ensure that we continue to manage baggage pilferage downwards.”
Environmental management at O.R. Tambo remains a key priority for ACSA. In recent months, the focus has been on rehabilitating the Blaauwpan Dam area in Bonearo Park following the major fuel spill in November last year. The goal, explained Hlekane, was to rehabilitate the areas affected by the fuel spill incident whilst restoring the ecological status of the Blaauwpan and associated areas.
Clean-up operations and rehabilitation took place immediately after the spillage incident and are in the final stages of completion. Independent tests are also being run to assess the current status on the water, air and soil quality.
“Results will be submitted to the various Government Departments including the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism (DEAT), the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry (DWAF) and other local government departments,” Hlekane concluded.