New CT airport terminal opens

2009-11-09 09:56

Cape Town - Travellers at Cape Town International Airport on Sunday could not stop talking about the new central terminal building.

This building was opened at 05:00 on Saturday, with thousands of passengers using the new communal check-in area for the first time. Passengers on international as well as domestic flights now use the same terminal for departures.

The airport was hampered for about an hour on Sunday afternoon by power cuts, said Deirdre Hendricks of the Airports Company of South Africa (Acsa).

"It is an example of teething problems that may be expected when a brand new system is put in place," she said.

The power cuts caused delays on incoming and departing flights.

Important milestone

According to Hendricks, the opening of the building was otherwise a huge success and she said it was an important milestone in the redevelopment of the airport.

"Everything so far has run smoothly and all complaints and enquiries were handled. It is a priority for us to support passengers in the transformation process of the airport."

About 100 temporary airport officials will be ready to help airport users for the next two weeks.

The new, fully automated baggage system is completely operational and currently handles 3 000 bags and suitcases per hour.

According to a traveller, André Oosthuizen from Paarl, who had visited several airports in the world, this airport was of a world-class standard.

"It has a very international feeling."

Alan Vels from Durban said it was nice not to have to look for a seat at one of the restaurants.

According to Dean Abbott from Cape Town, the building looked very attractive and the service from staff and employees at the shops was excellent.


But the delays from the South African Express airline left a bad taste in the mouth of many passengers.

About 80 passengers who were supposed to leave Cape Town for Port Elizabeth at 08:10 and 10:40, only left at 12:25.

According to one of the passengers, Bennie Howard, a wine consultant from Somerset West, it was an extremely frustrating situation, especially as airline staff didn't sufficiently communicate with them.

Clarisse Coetzee, marketing manager for Kaap-Rapport, said she had missed an important business meeting as a result of the delay.

Dileseng Koetie, media spokesperson for South African Express, said flights were delayed due to technical problems.

Technicians had to wait for spare parts from Johannesburg.

  • World Class - 2009-11-09 10:15

    The new airport is truly amazing - truly something to be proud of for all Safricans. I work at the airport and the new food court on the ground floor hasnt come at a better time - we needed the variety - i especially love the new grilled chicken place Barcelos - hmmm - definitely something to look forward to when coming to work.

  • Mothusi Mosweu - 2009-11-09 10:24

    Innovation at its best. please south africa lets cotinue giving world class service to out local and international community, Lets make service delivery our heart, the engen to our bodies.Hold on tight to the just and best.

  • Simon - 2009-11-09 10:34

    Cape Town airport and SAA Airlink are not the same thing!

  • Thembalabantubonke - 2009-11-09 10:38

    My flight departed Cape Town eventually around 16:15 to Johannesburg (25 minutes late) mainly due to thunderstorms in Johannesburg. The new terminal is nice though it seems cramped. I had rented a car with Avis and so was taken around the bloody airport to Avis (not sure why they cannot find a shorter route). Then, there was a long walk from the rental company parking in the rain. Once in the building, the escalators stopped as I was on them. Eventually made it through check-in, with unnecessarily long turnstiles forcing you to walk a mile before security, and then another long walk to the gates. Even when we got to the gate, the airplane was not parked to access the walkway and so we walked on the walkway, down the slippery stairs in driving rain to a waiting bus. Then the bus took eternity as there was a traffic jam around a 1Time jet. When we eventually made it to our airplane, only one door was opened to limit people going to the plane as it was raining. Once we left Cape Town, everything was OK

  • Sbonelo - 2009-11-09 10:49

    A new terminal to help the chickens leave quicker and sooner for Australia, the promised land.

  • Greg - 2009-11-09 10:53


    All you do is complain.. I was also at the airport. It is a brand new terminal and there will be small snags. Just look at Heathrow T5 with their major mess up with bags. WELL DONE SA on a fantastic new terminal

  • Biza - 2009-11-09 11:07

    How about pictures, mr editor?

  • Donald - 2009-11-09 11:35

    I travelled through the new departures terminal last night and was really impressed - well done ACSA!

  • Colin - 2009-11-09 11:39

    Well Done Cape Town.

  • Johnny Boy - 2009-11-09 11:40

    @ Greg - i agree there were minor snags - for the most part the pasengers were forgiving - u going to get ur occasional fool expecting the airport to have no issues. New mall area is great - food places are great - different to what you normally expect - but great that we get to savour new tastes. I tried Barcelos as well and they were cheaper and better tasting than Nandos. Well done ACSA

  • MvdM - 2009-11-09 11:45

    @Sbonelo Yes! and fortunately the racist worm that only consumes and contributes nothing will stay behind. Well done Cape Town!

  • Sam - 2009-11-09 11:49

    Jozi Rulz, We are the Best!!!Haven't seen CTN complete though, but during construction it looked like an incy wincy little airport compared to the Big Daddy Jozi!

  • Nomthi - 2009-11-09 17:02

    @MvdM - Get over yourself. And leave this country already - and head for 'evidently-not-so-green' pastures! See if you'll have the same head start there as you had in this country...nice to have all these rights and priviledges without responsibility..isn't it? and still come out feeling so superior! you are the lucky one!

    ps: b.t.w i don't necessarily agree with why Sbonelo saw the need to make their comment, but after yours - the truth in his comment is glaring!

    Well done ACSA. (i stand corrected, but i'm not so sure 'Cape Town' necessarily deserves the credit here.)

  • Capetonian - 2009-11-09 18:28

    I don't even see SAA Airlin MENTIONED in the article. What the hell are you on about Simon? Most of the delays were due to there not being enough busses and the drivers not knowing where to go. Add to that the aeroplane that had to return to CPT, and it was simply a bad day. Today everything went wonderfully. It was just a bad day.

  • Nix - 2009-11-09 19:47

    Why bring Airlink's problems into the terminal's image. Do you know what your doing as a reporter?

  • nixx - 2009-11-09 20:40

    To Capetinian Simin just got confused between Express and Airlink. Just put two and two together that is what he is going on about.

    I agree with Simon why do an article on a new terminal and then attribute airline faults with the terminal?

  • Frequent Flyer - 2009-11-09 20:41

    My husband who is a weekly commuter between Jhb and Cpt is in awe of the new airport. He's only wish though is for the baggage pilferage to come to an end as a few items were stolen out of his luggage last week travelling from Jhb to P.E.

  • Suzi Mtwetwe - 2009-11-10 03:48

    @Sbonelo & Nomuti, I have travelled to Australia,if i could I would also go live there, everything there is shiny and new,and well kept and maintained, well done ACSA for keeping up!

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