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Upgrades on South Africa’s two main airports have begun, part of an ambitious project to develop the country’s aviation industry, which should give the economy a much-needed boost. Cape Town International (CTIA) and OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg will both be upgraded at a cost of $540 million.

These upgrades are part of a wider project that includes major investment in Ethiopia. The new Addis Ababa International Airport will be completed by ADPIngénierie at a cost of $4 billion. An entirely new airport with supporting infrastructure will be built.

SA airports get massive upgrades

At the 6th Annual Africa Airport Expansion Summit in Addis Ababa, Summit Chair, Alexander Herring, told delegates that airports in Africa are key to socio-economic development. The African aviation sector is growing rapidly, but the infrastructure needs to evolve at the same pace, he said.

“Upgrading two of South Africa’s biggest airports will provide greater opportunities for travel and tourism, connecting South African businesses to global supply chain partners, boosting productivity, and providing greater investment opportunities. An estimated 192 million extra passengers per year will travel to the African continent by 2035, many of whom will be visiting South Africa. The only way to meet growing demand is by expanding airport hubs.”

OR Tambo is being upgraded so it can accommodate larger aircraft. Remote apron stands will be built so Airbus A380s can use the airport. There will also be space for passengers awaiting bus transfers to the main terminals. In addition, Terminal A is set for a R448 million refurbishment and upgrade. The work should be completed by October 2020. Further money has been allocated to increase the airport’s capacity.

The main upgrade for CTIA is a realigned runway. Preliminary work began in 2008, but the bulk of the project only started in mid-2017. Work on the runway is expected to conclude in 2021. CTIA will also get a new domestic arrivals terminal and terminal two is also being redeveloped, with completion planned for June 2019. The new international departure lounge and boarding gates are set for completion in the middle of next year.

Image: https://www.capetown-airport.com/images/cape-town-airport-central-terminal.jpg

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