Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) has embarked on a R90m multi storey parkade at Durban International Airport to increase the current capacity to 2950 bays. The project will be completed in July next year. ACSA believes that the three storey facility it is not only
about increasing bays but to creating a facility that will certainly allow for increased efficiencies and service in the public car park.
Speaking at a sod turning ceremony today, Deon Cloete, General Manager of Durban International & National Airports, said capacity of public parking at most ACSA airports around the country was under tremendous pressure.
“Currently if you visit Durban International Airport (DIA) to either pick up someone or park and fly, you will likely spend more time than usual looking for parking within the current public parking areas. It does become more difficult during peak times,” he said.
The ceremony was attended by Kwa-Zulu Natal MEC of Economic Affairs Zweli Mkhezi, eThekweni Municipality Mayor Obed Mlaba and Deputy Mayor Logie Naidoo as well as ACSA CEO Monhla Hlahla, Bongani Maseko; ACSA Operations Director
Cloete said: “DIA is currently experiencing an annual growth of about 16% and should reach a milestone of 3.5 million passengers a year by the end of this financial year. This positive growth, as much as it contributes positively to the economic growth of the city, places the airport infrastructure under tremendous strain. The introduction of the low cost carrier concept and the increase of airline schedules have taken off dramatically, though positive for the airports, they do have a major impact on the airport infrastructure, facilities and services."
ACSA is aware that this project will test its ability to manage the situation and the challenges that come with such a project. For that reason the ACSA team at Durban has been very proactive and has developed a robust operations plan that will attempt to minimize the congestion, confusion and inconvenience to airport users before, during and after the construction.
ACSA fully understands the impact that the project will have on our customers, stakeholder, the airlines and our staff and we cannot for a single moment underestimate the challenge we are going to be faced with. ACSA has been engaged and in consultation with various forums and meetings with all the necessary and relevant role players. ACSA maintains that this project cannot succeed if this type of consultation is not done to get the buy in and support from its stakeholders.
The result of such consultation is that the project will be constructed in a phased manner which will mean:
Phase 1: This will involve closing the current parking directly outside the terminal building which is planned to happen by 3rd January 2006 (current C Park).This means that about 270 parking bays will be lost to allow this phase to be constructed. Obviously the rest of the usable parking in front of the terminal will be made available for public use. This will mean that the current access and egress to the parking will be realigned to accommodate access to that area. The project will run from 9th January 2006 to 31st July 2006. This phase includes allowance for piling of the current site with about 400 piles being driven into the ground before construction takes place. Once this phase is complete there should be about 627 bays available to the public. This phase should take about 8 months to complete.
Phase 2: This will involve the area just north of the terminal building which will commence on 1st August 2006 (current A Park). This will mean that about 512 parking bays will be lost during this phase but alternate access points will be made available to access the completed sections of the MSP. This phase will be the longest period of the project with commencement from 1st August 2006 to 31st May 2007.
Phase 3: this phase will be basically realigning the entrance lanes, exit plaza, pay points and the construction of a new exit plaza in. This will take about 2 months.
Although all steps are being taken to ensure that inconvenience to the airport users is minimized, we cannot over stress the fact that there will be disruptions that cannot be avoided during a project of this magnitude.
ACSA will be conducting this project with the sensitivity of the future of the airport and the proposed relocation of the airport to the La Mercy site. It is for this reason ACSA’s approach to the project is that the structure is designed and easily adapted for future development at the current DIA site, once the airport is relocated.
As part of the strategy, ACSA will be formally presenting the details of the project to the various key stakeholders in due course, including the Premier’s Office, the eThekwini Municipality, Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Department of Tourism, Department of Economic Affairs and Finance, airlines, airport community and other valued stakeholders.
ACSA is committed to keep the public and their stakeholders abreast of the progress of this project. We would like to appeal to the public for their patience, understanding and co-operation during this project. We would like to encourage the public to note the following:
- If you are flying or picking up someone please try and get to the airport earlier that the normal time.
- Look for the signs that will direct you to available parking.
- Look out for our parking marshals to direct you to available parking.
- Keep a lookout for the shuttle to and from the terminal.
- Remember to retain your ticket with you as pay stations are situated in the terminal for your convenience.
To ensure that we are keep the public updated they are welcomed to make contact with us at all stages of the project. Please find some useful information that may assist the public:
- ACSA Switchboard – 031 451 6666
- Flight Information – 0867277 888
- Security – 031 451 6630
- SAPS – 031 451 6868
- ACSA Parking Management – 031 451 6626
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org