Cape Town airport in 2023 – after R7 billion goes into new runways & departure lounges

Cape Town International Airport is set for an R7 billion overhaul with a new runway, and new international and domestic departure lounges due to be completed by 2023.

Construction on the four-year project is set to start in early 2020.

In an Airports Company South Africa (Acsa) presentation, the state-owned company says the expansion is necessary to meet growing demand at the airport.

International arrivals increased by 9%, to 2.4 million passengers, in the past years, despite a devastating drought which heavily affected the local tourism industry.

Acsa said the realigned 3,500 metre runway will allow larger aircraft – such as the world’s largest passenger airline, the Airbus A380 – to land at the airport.

That part of the project, due to cost R3.9 billion, also provides for the future expansion of the airport terminal towards the runway, to accommodate additional aircraft.

Acsa said the highlight of the project will be a R688-million expansion of the domestic arrivals terminal.

The baggage hall will swell significantly to accommodate additional baggage collection carousels, and the meet-and-greet area will be reconfigured. 

With the growth the airport has seen, Acsa said, the international terminal will soon reach capacity, so a second terminal is to be constructed at a cost of R2.8 billion.

Acsa spokesperson Deidre Davids said precautions will be taken to annoyance for passengers, and to ensure that flights can still depart and land as the construction goes ahead.

“While we will do our best to limit the disruption and impact on passengers we ask in advance that airport users please bear with us – any discomfort experienced will be well worth,” Davids told Business Insider South Africa.

Last year the Western Cape government’s Air Access project, in collaboration with the City of Cape Town and Acsa, saw three new airlines add flights to and from Cape Town, while the airlines already using the airport expanded their offering.

This means there are now direct flights to four more destinations at the airport.

Western Cape Economic MEC Beverley Schafer said airline expansions is set to add R620 million worth of spend to the provincial tourism industry, which already sustains 300,000 jobs.