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Durban International Airport obtains global recognition
Thursday, July 31, 2003 | 00:00

Durban International Airport (DIA) has received the 2002 Airport World Service Excellence Award for ‘Runner-Up Best Domestic Airport in the World’ as well as recognition by *IATA as the ‘Best Planned Airport’ for the calendar year 2002,” Monhla Hlahla, Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) Managing Director, announced today.

The Service Excellence Award was handed over at a gala dinner ceremony in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA.  Deon Cloete, DIA General Manager, received the award on ACSA’s behalf. The Award is based on the results of the 2002 IATA Global Airport Monitor Survey.

The survey is a measurement of service standards rendered by an airport based on passenger perception and experience. Hlahla says the primary objective for ACSA to participate in this programme is to ascertain best practice of the airport in question and to benchmark ACSA airports against international best practise.

 “We are very pleased with DIA’s achievement. It serves as confirmation that management and staff at DIA goes the extra mile to ensure world-class travel experience for passengers. The award will encourage all airports within ACSA’s system, including DIA, to continuously improve their service levels to passengers,” said Monhla Hlahla.

The award is sponsored by the magazine World Airports, published by Insight Media Ltd. The results of the survey are analysed by IATA.

The ‘Best Planned Airport’ recognition is a result of recent reconfiguration and the upgrading of the terminal buildings at DIA. The reconfiguration project is featured as a textbook case study presented in the IATA planning course in Aviation Academies at Singapore, Montreal and Geneva. It showcases what can be done in terms of optimising space and making a terminal user-friendly for all airport users including passengers. 

The upgrade has contributed to an increase in passenger traffic for DIA, which was being lost to other forms of transport, including road travel. The low cost carrier initiative, namely Kulula.com, has increased the traffic growth at DIA, consolidating its role as a gateway for Durban as a preferred domestic destination. This has resulted in a re-evaluation of Durban as an air destination, and air passenger volumes are now growing at 4% a year.

Hlahla said Kulula.com had encouraged other airline operators to look at options to operate in the low-cost, no-frills carrier business, maximising airport usage.

“Thus Durban has become even more popular. ACSA, together with the airlines, has succeeded in moving a great many travellers off the roads onto aircrafts. Put another way, the upgrade of DIA has had a marked impact on the country’s transportation system,” she concluded.

*International Air Transport Association 

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