Tenders are due to go out soon for the R7bn (€441m) expansion of Cape Town International Airport, with construction scheduled to start in February next year and completion due in 2025, according to GM, Deon Cloete.
The work will include the realignment of the runway (due for completion in 2022), the simultaneous construction of a new domestic arrivals terminal and the redevelopment of the international departures terminal by 2025. Cloete said passenger process through the airport would be redirected during the construction, but CTIA would do its best to minimise impact on passengers.
He was speaking to TU on Thursday during a site visit of the planned upgrades by Western Cape Economic Opportunities MEC, Beverley Schäfer, and City of Cape Town Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Opportunities and Asset Management, James Vos. This follows CTIA clinching the Skytrax Best Airport in Africa Award last week for the fourth year running and being ranked 22nd in the world.
Commenting to TU, Schäfer said: “It’s probably going to be a few years of headaches for passengers and we ask that they remain patient, but once the upgrade is in place, it will be of huge benefit to the economy, job creation and the tourism industry. A bigger airport will mean we can land bigger planes and process far more passengers, which will contribute to growing the tourism industry. Increased connectivity allows us to drive business, trade and foreign direct investment.”
Following a slow-down of 9% in tourism growth in 2018, she said the province was hoping for increased tourism growth now that the water crisis was over. “We certainly want to make sure that any blockages, which include visa regulations or queues at the airport, are mitigated to the maximum. I will be writing to the Tourism Minister because we want the visa regulations to be scrapped.”
Schäfer said the expansion plans would go a long way toward extending the success of the Cape Town Air Access project, which, since 2015, resulted in 13 new routes and 18 route expansions. International seat capacity has doubled by 1.5m seats, resulting in 20% growth or 2.4m more international passengers in 2017.