Construction of the R2 billion Central Terminal Building project at O.R. Tambo International Airport was officially announced by Ms Monhla Hlahla, ACSA’s CEO, at a sod turning ceremony today.
Says Hlahla: “This project is vital for the 2010 World Cup, facilitation of the growing passenger traffic, improvement of service. It gives us an opportunity to further transform O.R. Tambo International into a world class airport. The CTB is indeed a major step towards achieving that”.
The project is part of the R5,2 billion infrastructure development budget for the entire ACSA network of airports. Of this budget, R3,5 billion will be spent at ORTIA. The new CTB, which will link the existing Domestic and International terminal buildings, will also serve as one of the stations on the Gautrain route as well as provide the required additional international terminal building capacity in terms of holding lounges, airside commercial areas and boarding gates.
A completion date for the construction of the CTB was accelerated to the end of 2009 following the emergence of a number of crucial factors. Firstly, after the announcement that South Africa was awarded the right to host the 2010 World Cup, plans were immediately put in place to prepare ACSA’s airports in time for the tournament.
Another factor which has contributed to this accelerated development is the new generation large aircraft, necessary for the processing of passengers. Hlahla explains, “The first operational version of this type of aircraft, the A380 which is expected to start flying here towards the latter half of 2008. Importantly so, ORTIA has been identified by a number of airlines as a destination that will be served by this particular aircraft.”
The CTB will comprise a multi-level terminal building. Floor levels are planned to compliment the adjacent terminals and the roadway system. As a result, departures activity will be on the upper level and arrivals on the ground level, in keeping with the existing International and Domestic terminals operations. These main floor levels will also be complemented by appropriate mezzanines for commercial or retail activities as well as basements for services and baggage handling.
“While the completion of the CTB is significant for obvious reasons, it will also make a large contribution to Black Economic Empowerment (see notes below). In fact, of the total project cost, 35% will go to black shareholders. We hope that this will have a broader impact on the upliftment of the previously disadvantaged communities,” concludes Hlahla.