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Airport to get massive upgrade

Posted On Tuesday, 31 October 2006 02:00 Published by eProp Commercial Property News
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Construction is under way at SA's largest airport

Construction IndustryThe OR Tambo International Airport is undergoing a massive R3.5-billion upgrade.

The construction includes an additional 8,000 vehicle parking bays, another terminal building and an international passenger holding facility.

This week, the Airports Company of South Africa (Acsa) opened 1,100 new parking bays and is set to open 6,900 more bays in addition to the 10,000 existing ones.

Acsa spokesman Solomon Makgale said passenger numbers at South Africa's airports were expected to increase from 16 million this year to 25 million by 2010.

The national government allocated R5.2-billion to upgrade airports across the country ahead of the 2010 soccer World Cup and the lion's share of that went to OR Tambo, South Africa's biggest airport, previously known as Johannesburg International.

The new developments include a R2-billion central terminal building with check-in facilities, baggage carousels, shopping areas and baggage basements.

The building, situated between the current international and domestic terminals, will provide easy access between terminal buildings and was designed to accommodate local and international travellers.

A R535-million "international pier development" or passenger holding facility will include holding lounges from which international passengers can quickly board planes instead of having to be transported there by bus. This section will also include a duty-free shopping centre.

Also under construction is a R474-million multi-storey parkade that will consist of 5,200 parking bays.

Makgale said the new parkade would feature a "pay on foot" system that will allow users to pay with their credit cards at exit booms.

"This will offer a simpler solution to customers that arrive at the exit boom only to find they have forgotten to pay for their parking," Makgale said.

A licence plate recognition system will also be introduced so that an image of the vehicle and driver is captured on entry, automatically recording the registration number on the parking ticket.

To deter car thieves, a vehicle will be allowed to leave only if the registration number on the ticket matches that of the car.

Also under way is a R219-million "echo apron" or aircraft parking facility designed to accommodate the world's largest passenger plane, the Airbus A380.

The international departures terminal is also being upgraded to the tune of R76-million and the upper road that now runs past the structure is being moved away from the building so that it can be extended.

Food vendors, news agents and sweet shops will be housed there as well as additional airline counter space and a large public space.

"The development includes an open deck area that will enable visitors and passengers to relax," said Makgale.

An international trade bureau and the Gautrain station and rail line will also be completed by 2010, he said.

 

Last modified on Thursday, 17 October 2013 15:55

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