King Shaka International Airport
|King Shaka International Airport|
|IATA: DUR – ICAO: FALE|
|Owner||Dube Tradeport Company|
|Operator||Airports Company South Africa|
|Serves||Durban, South Africa|
|Location||La Mercy, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa|
|Hub for||SA Express|
|Focus city for|
|Elevation AMSL||97 m / 295 ft|
|Website||King Shaka International Airport|
|Statistics (Apr 2014-Mar 2015)|
King Shaka International Airport (IATA: DUR, ICAO: 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. The airport was designed by Osmond Lange Architects and Planners and cost R6.8 billion (about US$900 million).
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: CPT, ICAO: FACT), O. R. Tambo International Airport (IATA: JNB, ICAO: 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.
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. In September 2015, during the World Routes Conference which was held in Durban (the first time on African soil), Turkish Airlines announced a new international service to Istanbul  and Qatar Airways announced the commencement of service to Doha in December of that year. 
On 27 January 2014 the world's largest passenger aircraft, an Airbus A380-800 of British Airways landed at KSIA becoming the first A380 to do so. The aircraft was being used for training and operated many flights in and out of the airport until 4 February 2014. The aircraft also returned for further pilot training between 29 August and 1 September the same year.
In 2013 & 2015, Skytrax awarded King Shaka International Airport the prestigious "Best Airport in the World Handling Under 5 million Passengers" title.
- 1 History
- 2 Location
- 3 Terminals
- 4 Airlines and destinations
- 5 Traffic and statistics
- 6 Access
- 7 Accidents and incidents
- 8 Accolades
- 9 See also
- 10 References
- 11 External links
Project conception and initial construction
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.
The project was revived in the late 1990s when the limitations of Durban International Airport became apparent. 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. 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. 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. 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.
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. The Indiza group appealed the decision, claiming that the correct tender process had not been followed and that their bid had been unfairly excluded; however, their legal challenge was dismissed by the Pietermaritzburg High Court in February 2007.
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. 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.
Construction of the airport commenced on 24 August 2007, immediately after the approval of the EIA. Construction progressed steadily throughout the next two years, with operational testing of the airport beginning in December 2009. The airport handled its first commercial flights on 1 May 2010.
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, Comair has expressed interest in buying the existing airport and operating it as an alternative, secondary airport.
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. 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". 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.
On 8 December 2009, it was reported that "King Shaka International Airport" was indeed the most popular name for the new airport. The airport name was approved by the South African Geographical Names Council on 14 January 2010, and became official on 2 February 2010 when the Minister of Arts and Culture gave final approval to the name.
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; 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. 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.
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, recommendations for mitigation of which were made in the project's Environmental Impact Report.
Mount Moreland barn swallows
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. 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.
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). 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. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The terminal does not have a public viewing deck, which has attracted public criticism. There are, however, vantage points on the elevated departures drop-off road, as well as elsewhere in the airport precinct. 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), Egypt (Egypt Air) and India (Air India).
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. In August 2009, Worldwide Flight Services was given a five-year contract to operate the cargo terminal.
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). 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. Samsung is to build a TV Production Plant at The Dube Trade Port by the end of 2014 estimated cost over three years will be $20 million. Increasing from 500 000 flatscreens to 1 million.
One of the objectives of the cargo terminal is to recapture local air freight traffic from JNB. 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. 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. 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.
Airlines and destinations
|Airlink||Bloemfontein, George, Nelspruit||Domestic|
|Airlink||Maputo International Airport||International|
operated by Comair
|Cape Town, Johannesburg-O.R. Tambo, Port Elizabeth||Domestic|
|Ethiopian Airlines||Addis Ababa||International|
|FlySafair||Cape Town, Johannesburg-O.R. Tambo||Domestic|
|Kulula.com||Cape Town, Johannesburg-Lanseria, Johannesburg-O.R. Tambo||Domestic|
|Mango||Cape Town, Johannesburg-Lanseria, Johannesburg-O.R. Tambo||Domestic|
|Qatar Airways||DohaNote 1||International|
|South African Airways||Johannesburg-O.R. Tambo||Domestic|
|South African Express||Cape Town, East London, Johannesburg-O.R. Tambo, Port Elizabeth||Domestic|
|South African Express||Lusaka International Airport, Harare International Airport||International|
|Turkish Airlines||Istanbul-AtaturkNote 2||International|
^ This flight operates between Doha and Durban via Johannesburg. However, Qatar Airways does not have rights to transport passengers solely between Durban and Johannesburg.
^ From 28 March 2016 Turkish Airlines will fly direct to Durban from Istanbul and continue onto Cape Town. However, Turkish Airlines does not have rights to transport passengers solely between Durban and Cape Town. Until 26 March 2016 Turkish Airlines continues to serve Durban via Johannesburg.
Traffic and statistics
King Shaka International Airport recorded 4.52 million passengers in 2014–2015, with the majority (4.22 million) being domestic passengers, 294,852 being international, and a small percentage of traffic being classified as "unscheduled". 49,355 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.
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.
|Passenger movements||% Change||Passenger movements||% Change||Passenger movements||% Change||Passenger movements||% Change|
|Aircraft movements||% Change||Aircraft movements||% Change||Aircraft movements||% Change||Aircraft movements||% Change|
- ^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.
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. 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, 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. 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.
The main railway line heading north from Durban along the North Coast runs close to the R102. Direct rail access was provided for in the master plans, and is expected to be constructed after 2010 as part of the second phase of construction. In 2014, talks of a new high-speed monorail between the city and the airport were put forward, with an expected start to construction set for 2017.
Accidents and incidents
- 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.
- 2011 – 3rd Best Airport in Africa of the Airport Service Quality Awards by Airports Council International
- 2012 – 2nd Best Airport in Africa of the Airport Service Quality Awards by Airports Council International
- 2013 – 1st Best Airport in World Handling under 5 Million Passengers of the Skytrax World Airports Awards by Skytrax
- 2014 – 1st Best Regional Airport in Africa of the Skytrax World Airports Awards by Skytrax
- 2014 – 2nd Best Airport in World Handling under 5 Million Passengers of the Skytrax World Airports Awards by Skytrax
- 2014 – 3rd Best Domestic Airport in World of the Skytrax World Airports Awards by Skytrax
- 2015 – 1st Best Airport in World Handling under 5 Million Passengers of the Skytrax World Airports Awards by Skytrax
- 2015 – 1st Best Regional Airport in Africa of the Skytrax World Airports Awards by Skytrax
- 2015 – 3rd Best Domestic Airport in World of the Skytrax World Airports Awards by Skytrax
- 2015 – 4th Best Regional Airport in World of the Skytrax World Airports Awards by Skytrax
- "ACSA – Durban Passenger Statistics". Airports Company South Africa. Retrieved 6 May 2011.
- "ACSA – Durban Aircraft Statistics". Airports Company South Africa. Retrieved 6 May 2011.
- Harrilall, Kavith (24 October 2008). "KZN's new airport on track". The Witness. Retrieved 25 October 2008.
- Naidoo, Suren (21 June 2007). "New Durban airport waiting for green light". IOL.
- Based on 1H2010 average exchange rate of R7.5:US$1 at OANDA
- "Dube Tradeport website".
- "Look up Durban! The big A380 is back". Traveller. Retrieved 7 June 2015.
- Carnie, Tony; Arde (24 August 2007). "'Durban will never be the same again'". IOL. Retrieved 15 October 2008.
- Institute of Natural Resources (August 2007). "Chapter 18 – Alternative: Upgrading & Expanding Durban International Airport" (PDF). Environmental Impact Assessment Report (Dube TradePort Environmental Impact Assessment Information Center). Retrieved 9 December 2008.[dead link]
- "Decisive Radebe ends impasse over R1.6bn Dube Tradeport". Leads 2 Business.
- Hill, Matthew (20 January 2007). "King Shaka airport tender case postponed". Engineering News. Retrieved 15 October 2008.
- "Grinaker-LTA to argue its case on La Mercy tender". Leads 2 Business.
- "Court dismisses Grinaker-LTA appeal over King Shaka airport". Engineering News. 23 February 2007.
- Sapa (23 August 2007). "King Shaka airport gets a nod". iafrica.com. Retrieved 24 August 2007.
- Hill, Matthew (14 September 2007). "Construction takes off at new Durban airport, despite legal challenge". Engineering News. Retrieved 15 October 2008.
- Naidoo, Suren (10 December 2009). "New airport begins operational testing". IOL. Retrieved 24 January 2010.
- "First flights leave King Shaka airport". Independent Online (Independent News & Media). 1 May 2010. Retrieved 1 May 2010.
- West, Edward (13 February 2007). "Toyota eyes Durban airport for growth plan". Business Day. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007.
- "Comair proposes to buy Durban International Airport". Comair Limited.
- Cole, Barbara (14 October 2009). "Wanted: a snappy name for new airport". IOL.
- "New airport named King Shaka International". SAnews. 2 February 2010.
- Cole, Barbara (8 December 2009). "New airport name waits on cabinet's approval". IOL.
- "New KZN airport named". News24. 14 January 2010. Retrieved 15 January 2010.
- Dube Tradeport. "Proposed Master Plan of the Dube Tradeport". Retrieved 12 March 2010.
- de Boer, Heinz (29 August 2006). "Concern grows about King Shaka Airport". IOL. Retrieved 24 October 2008.
- "Draft Environmental Impact Assessment Report" (PDF). Strategic Environmental Focus (Pty) Ltd. December 2013.
- "World Cup airport 'threatens swallow population'". The Guardian. 16 November 2006. Retrieved 10 July 2009.
- "Supplemental Bird Aircraft Interaction: King Shaka International Airport". Airports Company South Africa.
- "New International Airport at La Mercy Update – January 2009". Airports Company South Africa. 19 January 2009. Retrieved 10 July 2009.
- Braun, David (24 March 2010). "Bird arrivals, departures a priority at new airport in Africa". National Geographic (News Watch).
- "King Shaka International Airport – advice for travellers". SouthAfrica.info. Retrieved 8 May 2010.
- "King Shaka International Aerodrome (FALE) AD information" (PDF). South African Civil Aviation Authority. 8 April 2010: 4. Retrieved 8 May 2010.[dead link]
- "King Shaka Airport 'has no soul'". 5 May 2010. News24. Retrieved 8 May 2010.
- Marketing, Switch (5 December 2010). "Viewing deck at King Shaka International Airport". Michael Robert. Retrieved 5 December 2010.
- Institute of Natural Resources (August 2007). "Chapter 4 – Overview of Dube Tradeport". Environmental Impact Assessment Report (Dube TradePort Environmental Impact Assessment Information Center).
- Naidoo, Suren (27 August 2009). "New Dube terminal operator named" (fee required). The Mercury (Durban: IOL). p. 2. Retrieved 28 August 2009.
- "WFS to operate cargo terminal at new Durban airport". PressReleasePoint. 3 September 2009.
- "King Shaka International Airport". SouthAfrica.info.
- "Construction begins on first multi-million Rand Private Sector investment at Dube TradePort". Dube TradePort. 21 June 2013. Retrieved 29 June 2013.
- Inggs, Margie (11 September 2009). "Dube TradePort cargo terminal nearing completion". Engineering News. Retrieved 19 September 2009.
- "King Shaka Intl Airport (Dube Tradeport/FADN/DUR) required air routes". The Route Shop. Retrieved 30 August 2009.
- "ACSA – Statistics". Airports Company South Africa. Retrieved 6 May 2011.
- Gerretsen, Bronwyn (18 March 2010). "Motorists face new airport toll ambush". IOL. Retrieved 11 April 2010.
- Williamson, Simon (2 June 2010). "In defence of King Shaka". GoTravel24.com. Retrieved 4 June 2010.
- Enslin, Samantha (12 May 2006). "Dube Tradeport, Transnet in talks". Business Report. Retrieved 15 April 2009.[dead link]
- Dardagan, Colleen (10 December 2014). "Durban speed train on track". IOL News. Retrieved 26 April 2015.
- "No fanfare for airport's first landing" (fee required). Daily News (Durban: IOL). 19 August 2009. pp. 1–2. Retrieved 26 August 2009.
- "Yak first to land at King Shaka". AvCom. 13 August 2009. Retrieved 26 August 2009.
- "2012 Winners". Airportservicequalityawards.com. 15 November 2012. Retrieved 21 March 2013.
- "Top award for Cape Town International". DefenceWeb. 19 March 2013. Retrieved 21 March 2013.
- http://www.worldairportawards.com/Awards/worlds_best_regional_airports.html. Missing or empty
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to King Shaka International Airport.|