Cape Town International Airport
Airport Location & Amenities
Africa’s fourth busiest airport, Cape Town International Airport is the primary facility serving the greater Cape Town area of South Africa. Cape Town is found on the southern tip of the continent facing the South Atlantic Ocean. The King David Country Club is just to the west across Borcherds Quarry Road from the airport. The airport is situated about 20 kilometers east from downtown Cape Town in the Boquinar Industrial Area.
Serving well over 8,000,000 passengers every year, the Cape Town International Airport has two runways and a split-level terminal building. The airline desks and check-in kiosks are the Central Terminal Building. The checked-in passengers then pass through the security checking place before turning north for international flights or south for domestic flights.
Some of the jets park right beside the terminal and others wait at a distance from the terminal. Buses transport the people from the gate to the correct plane. The terminal has an automated system for baggage that efficiently handles up to 30,000 pieces of luggage every 60 minutes.
On the lower level of the terminal’s departing and landing sides are found a variety of shops, exchanges for foreign money and retail outlets. The upper level houses the restaurants where there are large windows looking out over the runways.
Features & Parking
Now, the runways are made of asphalt. One runway is only 1,700 meters long and the other is just over 3,000 meters long. Passengers can see the landmark Table Mountain and the coastline when their airplanes take off or land.
When it comes to passengers driving cars to the airport, facilities are provided for parking and valet services. A two-year old park space holds at least 4,000 parked vehicles. The older general parking area holds over 1,400 cars, and a multi-level parking facility holds over 1,700 vehicles near the domestic terminal.
Other means of transportation to and from the airport are available. Taxis are always on hand. Additionally, a scheduled bus shuttle service stops at the airport.
Cape Town Airport History
The history and growth of Cape Town International airport began with planning. Then to replace the outdated and small Wingfield Aerodrome, the new airport was completed in the 1950s. The airport’s original name was D. F. Malan Airport for the prime minister of South Africa in office at the time. Its original flights were two with one that stopped in Johannesburg, and then traveled on to Great Britain. The other was a direct flight to London.
The airport saw a surge in growth after apartheid. On through the first of the 21st century, more and more passengers and flights have used the facilities. The airport was updated before the FIFA World Cup that Cape Town hosted in 2010. The updating included the building of the Central Terminal Building, completed in 2009.
As the airport continues growing, plans are in the works for a second long runway to accommodate more large aircraft. An award winning facility, the airport receives recognition from organizations like Airports Council International. Awards from that organization have been for being Africa’s best airport because of its service globally. Cape Town continues to grow in popularity as a tourist gateway to South Africa, and Cape Town International Airport serves most visitors to the area.