From African Pilot:
Construction at Johannesburg International Airport has already commenced in order to accommodate the A380 Airbus and will be completed by the end of 2008 according to the Airports Company SA. Chief Airports' Planner, Erik Kriel, explained to a group of journalists who were invited to an Airbus update that the project was estimated to cost in the region of R10bn over the next few years. Kriel said: "Due to the 2010 Soccer World Cup, the upgrading began about three years ago, but there will be more extensive upgrades to the runways and terminals. We expect traffic at the airport to double in the next nine to ten years. The Airbus A380 will carry about 550 passengers so we have to accommodate for the arrival and departure of 550 passengers at a time."
The central terminal building, international and domestic terminals, arrival and departure terminals, check-points as well as the gate and stand capacity would be upgraded. The expansion and development of the retail mall and seating area would be completed by the end of next year. The old domestic terminal building that has stood empty for the past few years has already been demolished in order to make way new developments.
The new 'air bridge' will project eastwards from the end of the present international terminal building and will contain two A380 parking bays with a further two bays situated on remote concrete stands. The new air bridges have been designed to load the two A380 passenger decks independently and when not in use for the loading of the massive airliner they can be used to load two smaller regional jets. The existing international terminal is a nightmare because it is very narrow and does not allow 'meeters and greeters' the opportunity to move around easily. This problem is to be solved by extending the area into the existing covered roadway and to build a new wider roadway towards the west of the terminal.
"Everything at the airport will be extended and the bus station will be enlarged. We are also making provision for A380 carousels to ensure that the hundreds of passengers who get off the Airbus can access their luggage easily. Extra parking space will be built, but we were already working on that. I'm sure those of you who come to the airport often enough will be glad about this," added Kriel.
Cape Town International Airport was the preferred diversion for the A380, and a new runway will be built allowing the present runway to be converted into a taxi way. The runway at Air Force Base Waterkloof is no longer serviceable therefore this airfield can no longer be used for diverting traffic. Congestion at Cape Town International Airport will also come under the spot light due to ever increasing domestic, regional and international airline traffic.