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R5,2-billion for airport infrastructure before 2010
Tuesday, August 30, 2005 | 00:00

Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) national and international airports will be ready for the influx of visitors expected in South Africa for the 2010 Soccer World Cup long before the first game kicks off.

That was the assurance provided by ACSA Managing Director Monhla Hlahla at today’s release of the Company’s financial results for the year to end-March 2005.

Ms Hlahla announced a capital expenditure budget of R5,2-billion to be spent over five years to accommodate the 2010 soccer world cup.  Work has already started.

According to Ms Hlahla, ACSA invested R492 million in capital improvements, expansions and replacements, 88% of which was spent at the three international airports – Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban - during the review period.  The remaining  R46 million was invested at the Port Elizabeth, East London, George, Bloemfontein, Kimberley and Upington national airports as well as at Pilanesberg International Airport.

“This investment will increase significantly in the current financial year to R1,2 billion, and planned capital expenditure for 2005 – 2009 is R5,2 billion.  This will obviously include facility upgrades that are essential for 2010 but will largely be used to maintain world-class standards in aviation and tourism long after the curtain comes down on World Cup 2010,” she added

“In fact, we had carefully researched the facilities, developments and infrastructure that we would need at our airports to meet forecast demand over the five years to 2010 and beyond, long before South Africa won the rights to host the World Cup. “The awarding of the tournament to South Africa, however, has meant an acceleration and bringing forward of capital expenditure programmes planned for future regulatory cycles beyond 2010.”

Ms Hlahla said the experience of previous hosts of the event in past years has shown that it will attract increased numbers of regional foreign visitors, not only during the weeks of the event itself, but also – and perhaps especially – in the months and years leading up to 2010.

“Not only will ACSA airports have to be equipped to cope with the increased traffic demands, but they will also have to take account of future and long term infrastructure requirements which go beyond the Soccer World Cup. Our plans are hence built around long term requirements and not specifically for the world cup event.

“Our goal is to have all development projects complete by 2010, so that there are no open construction sites at our facilities when the World Cup Tournament is on,” Ms Hlahla stated.

WHAT ACSA HAS PLANNED:

O.R. TAMBO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (ORTIA)

  • The Central Terminal development is being brought forward by two years and will cost an estimated R1,6 billion. It will include a key terminal for the Gautrain Rapid Rail Link.
  • The new Northern International Pier project, to accommodate the new generation A380 aircraft that will carry up to 800 passengers and will be operating on the ORTIA route by 2008, has gone out to tender. The estimated cost is R512 million.
  • Two new multi-storey parkades, designed with 4 000 parking bays to cope with greatly increased demand flowing from the growing popularity of domestic Low Cost Carriers and the forecast upsurge in demand flowing from preparations for the World Cup, will cost an estimated R300 million.
  • Expected increases in traffic at ORTIA require additional aircraft parking aprons at a cost of R100 million.

CAPE TOWN INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (CIA)

  • Work has started on a new R70 million multi-storey parkade and there will also be a structured car parking area built at an estimated cost of R125 million.
  • Original plans for a new Domestic Terminal building have been expanded for the World Cup and expected growth to 2012 at a development cost of R650 million. This will relieve forecast congestion at this immensely popular destination.
  • Additional aircraft parking aprons will cost an estimated R100 million

DURBAN INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (DIA)

  • The recently upgraded terminal buildings will have to be extended at a cost of R35 million to meet current and future demand.
  • Apron capacity is being increased at a cost of R30 million.
  • Provision is also being made for a structured parking area at a cost of some R93 million to meet current and future demand.

OTHER AIRPORTS

  • Upgrades and new facilities will not be limited to the international airports. A sum of R132 million will be invested in refurbishments at the national airports over the next five years, with provision for temporary facilities during the tournament itself. 
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