The release of new bank notes by the South African Reserve Bank necessitated equipment upgrades to Airports Company South Africa’s parking equipment. The highly sophisticated security mechanisms, built into the new notes, require major upgrades to both the software and hardware of the existing parking machines.
At O.R. Tambo International Airport (ORTIA) the 38 pay stations units have to be upgraded at to be compatible with the new bank notes. Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) will be spending R478 000.00 on the total system upgrade at ORTIA.
The system upgrades have already begun. The entire parking system at ORTIA will be fully operational, to accept new and old notes, by the end of next month (March 2005).
Other options available at ORTIA to airport parking users include a revised credit card system as well as a pre-paid parking system.
All airport parking machines currently make use of single slot credit card technology. Clients simply insert their parking card and then insert their credit card into the same slot. The transaction is processed immediately.
ACSA also offers a pre-paid parking system at ORTIA, Durban International and Cape Town International – Speed Park. Speed Park cards can be bought from the ACSA Parking office, on the first floor of the Multi-Storey Parkade, at an initial cost of R40.00. Once the card has been bought, it can be loaded with denominations of R100, R200, R500 and R1000.
On entering the parking area the client is automatically shown what balance remains on the card. On exiting, the client is shown what amount is being deducted from the card, as well as the new balance. Top-ups are available from the parking office. Parking is charged at the same rate but offers a much more convenient option for regular airport users.
At Cape Town International, the pay stations will accept the new notes (and new) from the beginning of March. The delay is due to the fact that our equipment requires a hardware upgrade. ACSA will spend R130 000 to upgrade the 10 pay stations.
At Port Elizabeth Airport, R51 000 will be spent to upgrade both the software and hardware.
At Durban International Airport, we expect the pay stations to start accepting new notes from around 19h00 tonight (24 February 2005). Total upgrade cost was about R40 000.
ACSA has contingency plans put in place to offer customer-focused solutions to limit the inconvenience for airport users. Signage has been placed on all airport pay machines. ACSA clients are requested to press the “help” button on the machine should they only be in possession of new notes. Parking field officers are roaming the main parking areas and will immediately be radioed and dispatched to assist the client.ACSA regrets the inconvenience and assures airport users the matter is a priority and will be resolved as soon as possible.