CAPE TOWN HAS AFRICA’S BEST AIRPORT
Cape Town International was recently named the top airport in Africa at the 2010 global awards hosted by Airports Council International (ACI).
The council awarded Cape Town’s facility the title of Best Airport in Africa in the Airport Service Quality’s (ASQ) accolades for 2010. The airport was also named Best Improved Airport on the continent.
Cape Town International’s executives will collect the awards in New Delhi, India, in April at a ceremony where the world’s most impressive airports will be acknowledged for excellent customer service.
“... We are exceptionally proud of this award. It demonstrates that our airport is indeed among the best in the world," said the airport’s spokesperson Deidre Hendricks.
Management attributes the award to massive structural improvements that were made as part of preparations for the 2010 Fifa World Cup. All refurbishments were completed well in time.
According to the ACI’s survey, the airport scored well in areas such as availability of parking facilities and trolleys, as well as the cleanliness of washrooms. More than 190 surveys, which tested overall passenger experience, were conducted in over 50 countries.
The ease of finding one’s departure zone was also identified as a major improvement at Cape Town International.
The facility’s new central terminal building was opened in November 2009, after being expanded to accommodate 14-million passengers a year. Upgrades included the addition of 8 000 new parking bays.
"The airport has come a long way since its full transformation; however the journey is ongoing as we continuously strive towards delivering a seamless passenger experience,” said Hendricks. “Accolades such as these demonstrate that we are on the right track.”
The airport also scooped the Best Airport in Africa title in the Skytrax International Awards in 2010. It’s currently ranked 35th out of 150 airports in the world.
OR Tambo International in top three
But Cape Town is not the only local city that offers one of the best airport experiences in Africa. OR Tambo International Airport in Gauteng and the new King Shaka International Airport outside Durban in KwaZulu-Natal also did well at the ASQ awards.
OR Tambo, located in Kempton Park east of Johannesburg, was awarded the title of Third Best Airport in Africa, with King Shaka one place behind it.
All of South Africa’s international airports were spruced up as part of a R17-billion (US$2.3-billion) investment by Airports Company South Africa over the last three years.
King Shaka International Airport was built from scratch at a cost of R7.9-billion ($1.1-billion). It became operational on 1 May 2010, just in time to accommodate the overseas visitors who flocked to the country for Fifa’s tournament.
George takes best regional
Airports in the Asia-Pacific region dominated the top placings in worldwide category, with South Korea’s Seoul Incheon International Airport scooping the coveted Best Airport in the World title.
George Airport, located on the Western Cape’s Garden Route, was the Best Regional Airport in Africa at the ASQ awards.
This facility, which only handles domestic flights, underwent a R43-million ($6.2-million) expansion in 2007.