OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg has taken steps to reduce congestion for international passengers departing through its main Terminal A as well as international passengers in transit who remain airside.
A new passenger link has been constructed for international passengers, with the objective of effectively managing peak periods at Terminal A, reducing congestion and queuing time and enhancing passengers’ experience.
The construction of the passenger link took 12 weeks, with most of the work taking place after hours to avoid inconveniencing passengers. The link conforms to global security requirements and was built at a cost of around R2.5 million (€162 000).
It has increased passenger processing capacity from 200 to 700 people per hour.
Space for the passenger link was made by moving the existing transit security screening area to the upper level. This enabled Ortia to create an additional security point, as well as address various compliance-related issues with traffic to and from the transit hotel.
Passengers checking in at Terminal A will experience shorter queues at the terminal security and emigration processing points. Congestion has grown at these points due to growth in international passengers.
After checking in, passengers can either turn left to the old security checkpoint or right to the new modernised and enlarged facility that has been upgraded to handle more than double its previous capacity of 300 an hour.
Queueing times for both options will be added in the near future.
Twenty-one million passengers passed through Ortia this year alone, according to Airport Spokesperson, Leigh Gunkel-Keuler. She says the passenger link is one of the many elements of the airport’s Ambience Programme, which aims to enhance travellers’ experience.
Another addition to be implemented at Terminal A is the use of ‘Smart Security’, with a pilot test last year. Smart security will also help to ease congestion and is less intrusive as no human contact is made during the process.
It was mentioned during a media briefing on September 1 that Ortia was 65 years old this year, and with the ageing infrastructure, updates were needed to handle the increase in capacity. The airport has two runways that operate 24 hours a day, and with airlines using larger aircraft, there has been a massive increase in traffic at the airport.
The passage will be referred to as the airport’s passenger link for international passengers.