It is now two years since the current transformation of Cape Town International Airport began with the construction of the airport’s first multi-storey parkade (MSP). Airports Company South Africa’s (ACSA’s) investment of more than R1.3 billion in infrastructure is on schedule for completion by the end of 2009.
Visitors to the airport will have noticed a number of changes to date as a result of this construction activity. In January 2007, the drop-and-go road was relocated to a temporary bypass road in order for the site of the new Central Terminal Building (CTB) to be hoarded off as well as to make way for an elevated road to be built in front of the terminal buildings. The route for Domestic Car Rental returns was also changed and in July, the International Car Rentals area was relocated.
Currently work on the Central Terminal Building is rapidly progressing as three construction cranes loom over the airport. This five storey building, which will be taller than the current multi-storey car park, will house a common processing area where both international and domestic passengers will be processed as apposed to two separate terminals. Once passengers pass through the security screening points international passengers will route to the left to the international departures waiting area and domestic passengers right to the domestic departures waiting area.
The elevated roadway will separate the arrivals and departure levels, similar to O.R. Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg and is set for completion in July 2008. “We’ve said time and again that the construction activity will completely transform Cape Town International Airport as we know it. These developments will significantly enhance the airport’s capacity allowing for the processing of approximately 15 million passengers upon completion”, says Deidre Hendricks Communications Manager: Cape Town International Airport
But, managing an operational airport amidst all of the construction is tricky as passenger growth gives rise to the need for bigger and more sophisticated infrastructure, while at the same time, trying not to inconvenience passengers. Unfortunately, during this transformation, passengers will experience a fair amount of discomfort as construction progresses.
One of the areas of discomfort is public vehicle parking, an area in which demand currently far exceeds supply. As part of the infrastructure developments commissioned last year, the construction of a second multi-storey parkade (MSP2) has commenced. The site of this facility, which is positioned directly opposite the International Terminal, was hoarded off and handed over to the contractor in July. Work commenced in September and the project will take about 18 months to complete at a cost of approximately R210 million.
“The MSP 2 will be a 5-level parkade with approximately 4 000 bays, which makes it twice as big as MSP1! It’s going to make a dramatic difference to the current parking experience at the airport,” said Deidre Hendricks, Communications Manager: Cape Town International Airport.
As always airport users are asked to please be patient during construction and to remember to arrive early for their flights.