King Shaka International Airport

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King Shaka International
KSIA-Passenger-Terminal.jpg
The passenger terminal entrance at King Shaka International Airport, seen from the arrivals loop.
IATA: DURICAO: FALE
Summary
Airport type Public
Owner Dube Tradeport Company
Operator Airports Company South Africa
Serves Durban, South Africa
Location La Mercy, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Hub for
Focus city for
Elevation AMSL 90 m / 295 ft
Coordinates 29°37.0′S 31°6.5′E / 29.6167°S 31.1083°E / -29.6167; 31.1083Coordinates: 29°37.0′S 31°6.5′E / 29.6167°S 31.1083°E / -29.6167; 31.1083
Website King Shaka International Airport
Map
DUR is located in Durban
DUR
DUR
Location in the Durban metropolitan area
Runways
Direction Length Surface
m ft
06/24 3,700 12,139 Asphalt
Statistics (2012)
Passenger traffic 4,747,224
Aircraft movements 50,853
Source: Airports Company South Africa[1][2]

King Shaka International Airport (IATA: DURICAO: FALE), abbreviated KSIA, is the primary airport serving Durban, South Africa. Located in La Mercy, KwaZulu-Natal, approximately 35 km (22 mi) north of the city centre of Durban, it opened its doors to passengers on 1 May 2010, just over a month before the start of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. It replaced Durban International Airport (ICAO: FADN) and uses the same IATA airport code.[3] The airport was designed by Osmond Lange Architects and Planners and cost R6.8 billion[4] (about US$900 million[5]).

Although the larger airport was built to grow the area's international services, it is also a key airport for domestic services throughout South Africa, serving the "Golden Triangle" between Cape Town International Airport (IATA: CPTICAO: FACT), OR Tambo International Airport (IATA: JNBICAO: FAOR) in Johannesburg, and KSIA itself with 7 airlines. KSIA was the 9th busiest airport in Africa according to 2010 statistics, despite not being open for the first four months.

The airport forms part of the Dube Tradeport, which will additionally consist of a trade zone linked to the airport's cargo terminal, facilities to support the airport such as nearby offices and transit accommodation for tourists, an integrated agricultural export zone, and an IT platform.[6]

The largest aircraft KSIA currently has scheduled services for is the Boeing 777-300ER, with Emirates operating Dubai–Durban, despite the fact that KSIA's runway length and terminal were designed to theoretically handle regular large airliners. The largest airliners KSIA has hosted were Airbus A340s of South African Airways, for a short period around the 2010 FIFA World Cup.[7][8]

On 27 January 2014 the worlds largest passenger aircraft, an Airbus A380-800 of British Airways landed at KSIA becoming the first A380 to do so. The aircraft is being used for training and will operate many flights in and out of the airport until 4 February 2014.

In 2013 Skytrax announced that King Shaka International Airport was the best airport in the world handling under 5 million passengers.[9]

History[edit]

Project conception and initial construction[edit]

Construction of the passenger terminal in August 2009
The passenger terminal under construction on 28 August 2009, taken from the air side and showing the domestic airbridges

King Shaka International Airport was first conceptualised in the 1970s, with construction beginning in 1973. By 1975, earthworks and a storm drainage system had been completed. However, the project was halted in 1982 due to the economic slowdown at the time.[4]

The project was revived in the late 1990s when the limitations of Durban International Airport became apparent.[4] The airport's 2,400 m (7,874 ft) runway was too short to allow large aircraft such as the Boeing 747 to operate intercontinental routes out of Durban, and the resulting decrease in international air traffic caused Durban to become marginalised with respect to Johannesburg and Cape Town.[10] Upgrading Durban International Airport was considered but a study published in 2007 found that the existing airport would still have serious constraints and would reach its maximum potential by 2025, after which there would be no choice but to develop KSIA.[11] It was also found that it would be 95% more expensive to operate Durban International Airport to its full potential and only then develop KSIA, than it would be to develop KSIA immediately.[11] However, disputes between Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) and the Dube Tradeport firm (which is backed by the KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) provincial government) stalled the project until national transport minister Jeff Radebe intervened to jump-start the project in 2004.[12]

The project was then hit by a tender war between the Illembe consortium (led by Group Five and Wilson Bayly Holmes-Ovcon) and the Indiza consortium (led by Grinaker-LTA). Both consortia pre-qualified for the tender in April 2006; however, the tender was awarded to the Illembe consortium, with the Indiza consortium not being considered for failing to meet certain tender requirements.[13] The Indiza group appealed the decision, claiming that the correct tender process had not been followed and that their bid had been unfairly excluded;[13][14] however, their legal challenge was dismissed by the Pietermaritzburg High Court in February 2007.[15]

The final obstacle was a delay in the approval of the project's Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) by the South African Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism.[4] The EIA was eventually approved in August 2007; conditions attached being the appointment of an environmental control officer, issues of access from the nearby N2 freeway, and fauna and flora issues; in particular, the impact of construction and airport operations on a nearby colony of barn swallows.[16]

Construction of the airport commenced on 24 August 2007, immediately after the approval of the EIA.[17] Construction progressed steadily throughout the next two years, with operational testing of the airport beginning in December 2009.[18] The airport handled its first commercial flights on 1 May 2010.[19]

It is unclear what the fate of the existing Durban International Airport will be now that KSIA is complete. While it was originally expected that the airport would be decommissioned and the site (in a prime industrial area) would be redeveloped, possibly as a dug-out port serving nearby automotive assembly and components factories,[20] Comair has expressed interest in buying the existing airport and operating it as an alternative, secondary airport.[21]

Naming process[edit]

Despite wide expectations that the airport would be named "King Shaka International Airport" (Shaka was the leader of the Zulu nation in the early 19th century), it emerged in October 2009 that the airport needed to undergo a formal naming process.[22] The former premier of KZN, S'bu Ndebele, described the naming process as urgent, stating that "pilots cannot fly to a place with no name".[22] Public hearings on the naming of the airport began at the beginning of November 2009, with most attendees favouring "King Shaka International Airport" as the new airport's name.[23]

On 8 December 2009, it was reported that "King Shaka International Airport" was indeed the most popular name for the new airport.[24] The airport name was approved by the South African Geographical Names Council on 14 January 2010,[25] and became official on 2 February 2010 when the Minister of Arts and Culture gave final approval to the name.[23]

Location[edit]

The airport is located in La Mercy, KwaZulu-Natal, approximately 35 km (22 mi) north of Durban. The airport precinct is bordered by the M43 to the north, the Mdloti River to the south, the R102 to the west, and the N2 freeway to the east.

Neighbouring communities are Tongaat to the north-west, Verulam to the south-west, and Umdloti to the south-east. Notable communities further away are Umhlanga to the south and Ballito to the north. These communities are generally opposed to the airport because of noise concerns,[26] recommendations for mitigation of which were made in the project's Environmental Impact Report.[27]

Mount Moreland barn swallows[edit]

Mount Moreland, a small community located 2.6 km (1.6 mi) south of the airport, is an important roosting site for the European Barn Swallow.[28] The roughly 250 m2 (299 sq yd) reed bed where the birds roost is directly underneath the approach path to runway 06. When the construction of the airport was announced, there were fears that the reed bed would have to be destroyed due to the perceived threat of bird strikes, creating concern amongst environmentalists.[28]

As a result, a study into the risks of bird strikes at KSIA was commissioned, with special attention being paid to the Barn Swallows at Mount Moreland. The study showed that the early morning dispersals of swallows generally happen before any scheduled arrivals or departures (earlier than 06:00), and the late afternoon swarms take place below the airport approach path, with only 5% of the birds protruding up into the path for a very short time (around 10 minutes).[29] It was also noted that larger bird species, flying at higher altitudes, would pose more of a risk to aircraft than the swallows, such species already being a risk at Durban International Airport.[29] The study concluded that it would definitely be possible for the airport and swallows to co-exist. Proposed risk mitigation measures included curtailing flight movements during the afternoon swarm, setting the glide slope approach to Runway 06 to 3.2 or 3.5 degrees rather than the standard 3 degrees (to stay above the birds), and the installation of a radar system that would monitor bird movements and be integrated into the operational plan of the airport.[29]

In response to the study, ACSA contracted De-Tect Inc. to install a radar system that would monitor all bird activity around KSIA, notifying air traffic controllers of any dangers to aircraft. The radar system arrived in January 2009 and started collecting data to be used when the airport became operational.[30][31]

The airport's DVOR ground station, located on a grass hill against a blue sky. The station is painted red and white.
The airport's DVOR ground station

Terminals[edit]

Passenger terminal[edit]

The departures concourse of the passenger terminal
The departures concourse, showing the check-in islands and passengers checking in for their flights. Information is being displayed on LED and LCD display screens.

The passenger terminal is located at the southern end of the airport and is split into two levels: arrivals are handled on the lower floor, departures on the upper floor. With a total floor area of 102,000 m2 (1,100,000 sq ft), the terminal is capable of handling 7.5 million passengers per year.[32]

The check-in concourse, located on the upper floor, contains 72 check-in counters and 18 self-service kiosks, as well as ticket offices for the various airlines operating out of the airport. Passengers pass through separate domestic and international security checkpoints before proceeding to the departure lounges and boarding gates. The airport has 34 aircraft parking bays and 16 jet bridges. Four of the jet bridges (gates A20-A23) can be combined into groups of two to handle Code F aircraft (e.g. an Airbus A380) or can be used separately to handle four Code C aircraft (e.g. an Airbus A320 or Boeing 737). The remainder are capable of handling one Code C aircraft each.[32][33]

The arrivals area is located on the lower floor, with a baggage reclaim hall containing 5 conveyors that can be allocated between domestic and international use. Most of the airport's retail shops are also located on the lower floor, as well as a piazza area immediately outside the terminal building. Including shops in the departure lounges, the airport has 52 retail outlets and 6,500 m2 (70,000 sq ft) of retail space.[32]

The terminal does not have a public viewing deck, which has attracted public criticism.[34] There are, however, vantage points on the elevated departures drop-off road, as well as elsewhere in the airport precinct.[35] The International Terminal is located to the left of the airport with two A380-800 docking bays in which four A330's can be parked. The Old Durban Airport used to have flights from Durban to Singapore (Singapore Airlines), London (British Airways), Persian Gulf (Gulf Air), Egypt (Egypt Air), India (Air India) and Ethiopia (Ethiopian Airlines).

Cargo terminal[edit]

The cargo terminal, taken from the land side
A view of the cargo terminal from the main access road leading to it, showing bays for goods vehicles and the reception area.

The cargo terminal is located to the north of the passenger terminal, and is in the approximate centre of the airport precinct. The cargo terminal will have an initial size of 15,000 m2 (160,000 sq ft) and initial capacity for 150,000 metric tons (165,000 short tons) of cargo per year. Long-term expansion could see the cargo terminal expand to a size of 100,000 m2 (1,100,000 sq ft) and capacity for 1,000,000 metric tons (1,100,000 short tons) of cargo per year.[36] In August 2009, Worldwide Flight Services was given a five-year contract to operate the cargo terminal.[37][38]

The cargo terminal will form one component of the Dube TradePort's TradeZone Precinct, which will additionally be home to trade and logistics warehousing as well as cargo and light industry activities that require quick access to air cargo services, and will cover an area of 36 hectares (89 acres).[39] In February 2013 Shree Property Holdings agreed to build a 60,000 m2 (650,000 sq ft) facility in the Dube TradeZone and an additional 15,000 m2 (160,000 sq ft) facility.[40]

One of the objectives of the cargo terminal is to recapture local air freight traffic from JNB.[39] It is estimated that KwaZulu-Natal produces approximately 25,000 metric tons (27,600 short tons) of air cargo a year which is currently transported by road to Johannesburg.[41] The airport also has the advantage of sea level operation as opposed to Johannesburg's high altitude, and is also near the Port of Durban, the busiest seaport in the southern hemisphere.[42] The cargo terminal will initially have two Code F stands (capable of accommodating large aircraft, like the freighter variants of the Airbus A380), which can be expanded to ten stands in the long term.[11]

Airlines and destinations[edit]

The following airlines operate scheduled flights to King Shaka International Airport:

Scheduled flights from King Shaka International Airport.
International +Regional Flights.
Domestic + 1 Regional Route Map from KSIA.
A flight departing from King Shaka International Airport against the backdrop of a dawn sky
A flight departing King Shaka International Airport
Airlines Destinations Type
Air Mauritius Mauritius International
Airlink Maputo International
Airlink Bloemfontein, George, Johannesburg-OR Tambo, Nelspruit Domestic
British Airways operated by Comair Cape Town, Johannesburg-OR Tambo, Port Elizabeth Domestic
Emirates Dubai International
Kulula.com Cape Town, Johannesburg-OR Tambo, Johannesburg-Lanseria Domestic
LOT Polish Airlines Charter: Warsaw-Chopin (begins 6 November 2014)[43] International
Mango Cape Town, Johannesburg-OR Tambo Domestic
South African Airways Johannesburg-OR Tambo Domestic
South African Express Harare, Lusaka International
South African Express Cape Town, East London, Johannesburg-OR Tambo, Port Elizabeth Domestic

The Old Durban airport used to have flights to Singapore, Ethiopia, London, Egypt, Persian Gulf and India.

Prospective flights[edit]

  • Air Seychelles is considering establishing a direct Mahé-Durban service. Negotiations are in process.[44]
  • Air Zimbabwe is wanting to start flights to KSIA.[45]
  • SA Express has been given the green light to launch direct flights to Maputo, Windhoek, and Gaborone.[46]
  • SA Express is in negotiations to launch a direct Durban-Lubumbashi service.[46]
  • A direct route to India from Durban is being negotiated by several airlines.
  • Kenya Airways has scheduled a route to Durban for the 2016/17 financial year.[47] (17 April 2014 Dube TradePort Report Card)

Khuphuka Kings plans to launch scheduled and charter services to locations that it believes are "untouched" such as Nigeria, Swaziland and the DRC http://www.travelbuyer.co.za/NewsDetails.aspx?newsId=73313

Cargo[edit]

Airlines Destinations
South African Airways Johannesburg
Emirates Sky Cargo Dubai (Will fly to Dubai Al Maktoum from May 2014)
South African Express Harare, Lusaka, Cape Town, East London, Johannesburg, Port Elizabeth
BidAir Cargo Services Johannesburg, Cape Town
Airlink Cargo Maputo, Nelspruit, Bloemfontein, George
Imperial Air Cargo Johannesburg
Khuphuka Kings Lubumbashi , Ndola [48]

Notes: The largest Cargo Freighter to land at King Shaka International Airport was an Antonov An-124

Traffic and statistics[edit]

King Shaka International Airport recorded 4.47 million passengers in 2013–2014, with the majority (4.18 million) being domestic passengers, 277,866 being international, and a small percentage of traffic being classified as "unscheduled". 49,559 aircraft traffic movements were recorded; the majority again being domestic services. The statistics place KSIA as the third busiest airport in South Africa, behind both OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg and Cape Town International Airport.[49]

The following tables list passenger and air traffic statistics for King Shaka International Airport as published by Airports Company South Africa. Statistics run between April and March the following year.

Annual passenger traffic for King Shaka International Airport[1]
Year International Domestic Unscheduled Total
Passenger movements  % Change Passenger movements  % Change Passenger movements  % Change Passenger movements  % Change
2010–20111 179,744 Increase81.8% 4,672,960 Increase8.7% 20,867 Increase215.6% 4,873,571 Increase10.7%
2011–2012 201,037 Increase11.8% 4,828,631 Increase3.3% 10,426 Decrease50.0% 5,040,094 Increase3.4%
2012–2013 226,764 Increase12.8% 4,430,677 Decrease8.2% 11,026 Increase5.8% 4,668,467 Decrease7.0%
2013–2014 277,866 Increase22.5% 4,179,121 Decrease5.7% 8,101 Decrease26.5% 4,465,088 Decrease4.4%
Annual aircraft movements for King Shaka International Airport[2]
Year International Domestic Unscheduled Total
Aircraft movements  % Change Aircraft movements  % Change Aircraft movements  % Change Aircraft movements  % Change
2010–20111 1,460 Increase0.0% 49,623 Increase1.5% 3,635 Increase59.4% 54,718 Increase3.6%
2011–2012 1,404 Decrease3.8% 50,491 Increase1.7% 3,299 Decrease9.2% 55,194 Increase0.9%
2012–2013 1,739 Increase23.9% 43,875 Decrease13.1% 4,059 Increase23.0% 49,673 Decrease10.0%
2013–2014 2,134 Increase22.7% 42,928 Decrease2.2% 4,497 Increase10.9% 49,559 Decrease0.2%
Notes
  • ^1 Statistics for 2010–2011 include operations at Durban International Airport up to and including 30 April 2010. Comparisons are made with the previous reporting period's statistics at Durban International Airport.

Access[edit]

Road[edit]

A three-level interchange between the N2 national freeway and the M65 main road
The interchange of the N2 and M65

The airport is accessible from both the N2 freeway and the alternative R102 road, with the M65 linking the N2 at exit 195 and the R102 between Verulam and Tongaat with the airport. The M65 does not continue from the N2 interchange to the coastal M4 highway, necessitating M4 traffic to divert to the N2 using either the M27 if approaching from the south, or the M43 (Watson Highway) if approaching from the north; however, the airport's Environmental Impact Assessment recommended that the M65 should be extended to the M4 in the future should traffic volumes rise to the point where this would become necessary.[27] Another notable road in the vicinity of the airport is the R614 from the Albert Falls and Wartburg areas, which terminates at the R102 in the northern outskirts of Tongaat; users of the R614 access the airport via the R102.

The majority of routes to and from the airport via the N2 involve payment of a toll: traffic leaving the airport to the south (the direction of central Durban) must pass through the La Mercy Ramp Plaza located at the interchange of the N2 and M65,[50] while traffic arriving at and leaving the airport from the north (the direction of Ballito) must pass through the mainline Tongaat Toll Plaza located at the interchange of the N2 and M43. Motorists arriving from the south along the N2 are not tolled, and the R102 acts as an untolled alternative route. The N2 S from the airport can lead to the M4 S, which leads directly into the city.

The airport contains 6,500 public parking bays, both in a short-term parkade and in a shaded medium-term parking area.[51] Public road transport is provided by airport shuttle buses and metered taxis, which have been allocated their own pick-up and drop-off area adjacent to the terminal entrance to the international arrivals area.

Rail link[edit]

The main railway line heading north from Durban along the North Coast runs close to the R102. Direct rail access has been provided for in the master plans, and is expected to be constructed after 2010 as part of the second phase of construction.[52]

Accidents and incidents[edit]

  • On 13 August 2009, a privately owned Yakovlev Yak-18T (registration ZU-BHR) performed an emergency landing on the then unfinished runway due to a fuel contamination issue, becoming the first aircraft to land at KSIA.[53][54]

Future development[edit]

As of March 2010, information on future development at KSIA is scarce and conflicting. Long term master plans published on the Dube Tradeport website show projected phases of development in 2035 and 2060;[55] however, images of future development posted on an internet forum indicate five phases of development, with each phase to be developed based on annual passenger volumes reaching certain levels.[56] Both sources of information agree that by 2060, the airport would have two parallel runways with the passenger terminal building having an estimated capacity for 45 million passengers per year.

Accolades[edit]

See also[edit]


References[edit]

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  13. ^ a b Hill, Matthew (20 January 2007). "King Shaka airport tender case postponed". Engineering News. Retrieved 15 October 2008. 
  14. ^ "Grinaker-LTA to argue its case on La Mercy tender". Leads 2 Business. 
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  16. ^ Sapa (23 August 2007). "King Shaka airport gets a nod". iafrica.com. Retrieved 24 August 2007. 
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  20. ^ West, Edward (13 February 2007). "Toyota eyes Durban airport for growth plan". Business Day. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. 
  21. ^ "Comair proposes to buy Durban International Airport". Comair Limited. 
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  33. ^ King Shaka International Aerodrome (FALE) AD information. South African Civil Aviation Authority. 8 April 2010. p. 4. Retrieved 8 May 2010. [dead link]
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  35. ^ Marketing, Switch (5 December 2010). "Viewing deck at King Shaka International Airport". Michael Robert. Retrieved 5 December 2010. 
  36. ^ Institute of Natural Resources (August 2007). "Chapter 4 – Overview of Dube Tradeport". Environmental Impact Assessment Report (Dube TradePort Environmental Impact Assessment Information Center). 
  37. ^ Naidoo, Suren (27 August 2009). "New Dube terminal operator named" (fee required). The Mercury (Durban: IOL). p. 2. Retrieved 28 August 2009. 
  38. ^ "WFS to operate cargo terminal at new Durban airport". PressReleasePoint. 3 September 2009. 
  39. ^ a b "King Shaka International Airport". SouthAfrica.info. 
  40. ^ "Construction begins on first multi-million Rand Private Sector investment at Dube TradePort". Dube TradePort. 21 June 2013. Retrieved 29 June 2013. 
  41. ^ Inggs, Margie (11 September 2009). "Dube TradePort cargo terminal nearing completion". Engineering News. Retrieved 19 September 2009. 
  42. ^ "King Shaka Intl Airport (Dube Tradeport/FADN/DUR) required air routes". The Route Shop. Retrieved 30 August 2009. 
  43. ^ http://www.routesonline.com/news/29/breaking-news/241822/lot-polish-airlines-adds-boeing-787-charter-to-vietnam-south-africa-in-nw14/
  44. ^ http://www.news24.com/Travel/Flights/Direct-Durban-Seychelles-flights-on-the-cards-20130213
  45. ^ http://www.news24.com/Travel/Flights/Air-Zimbabwe-to-launch-direct-Durban-flights-20130906
  46. ^ a b http://travel.iafrica.com/bulletinboard/874168.html
  47. ^ "Clawing Back a Share of Africa's Air Cargo Market". Dube Times. 
  48. ^ http://www.dubetradeport.co.za/News/InauguralFlightforKhuphukaKingsAirwaysFromDubeTradePortOpensNewCargoOpportunitiesforKwaZulu-Natal
  49. ^ "ACSA – Statistics". Airports Company South Africa. Retrieved 6 May 2011. 
  50. ^ Gerretsen, Bronwyn (18 March 2010). "Motorists face new airport toll ambush". IOL. Retrieved 11 April 2010. 
  51. ^ Williamson, Simon (2 June 2010). "In defence of King Shaka". GoTravel24.com. Retrieved 4 June 2010. 
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  54. ^ "Yak first to land at King Shaka". AvCom. 13 August 2009. Retrieved 26 August 2009. 
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  57. ^ "2012 Winners". Airportservicequalityawards.com. 15 November 2012. Retrieved 21 March 2013. 
  58. ^ "Top award for Cape Town International". DefenceWeb. 19 March 2013. Retrieved 21 March 2013. 

External links[edit]