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Friday, February 23, 2024

Cape Winelands Airport prepares for lift-off

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By 2027, this 900-hectare space may be transformed into a brand new airport.


An airport that may, at some point, have the ability to cater to 25% of the Cape Town International Airport’s (CTIA) passenger volume. It may reduce carbon dioxide emissions – that’s emitted by planes – with 60 million kilograms, reduce flight costs and be a source of job creation in Cape Town.


These are among the ambition plans by the executive team at the Cape Winelands Airport (CWA).


Located in Lichtenburg Road in Durbanville, the CWA has been in existence for roughly 80 years. In its early years, when it was known as the Fisantekraal Airfield, catering to the South African Air Force. Years later, under private ownership, it became a popular site for aspiring pilots to practice their skills at taking off.


The airport is said to offer greater access to regions like the West Coast, Boland, Winelands and areas close to there – compared to the Cape Town International Airport. IMAGE: Supplied


Now, two years after being acquired by a company known as RSA.AERO, the fairly small airport is preparing to soar to higher heights – taking the form of an international airport.


“Cape Town is such an isolated city, it’s on the bottom of the earth. There is no other major airport infrastructure within 1200 kilometres – in Johannesburg and Durban… Because of the economics, the optimisation and the efficiency that the second airport creates – that is why we need a second airport.” – Mark Wilkinson, CAW executive director.


One of the four executive directors at CAW, Deon Cloete, says engagement with CTIA management, City of Cape Town’s tourism bodies, members of the Fisantekraal and Klipheuwel (neighbouring) communities and other relevant stakeholders – to which the response in building the airport is generally positive.


“It’s early days, [but] we haven’t seen any objections. There are [people] who want to better understand what our plans are, and what the impact is. Let’s use social media, as an early indicative platform, generally we’re getting positive feedback.”





The timeline to take-off


With the ongoing stakeholder engagements and regulatory approvals needed prior to the complete expansion of the airport, the envisioned timeframe for construction to start is in 2025. The board of directors are optimistic that the first phase of the airport will be complete two years later.


The projected passenger numbers for the airport, as the years progress to it being complete in 2050. IMAGE: Supplied


The first phase of the airport will have launched all the portions of needed for a fully functioning airport – but this phase will only accommodate 1,7 million people per annum, until further expansion. The airport is expected to be complete by 2050. Adele Klingenberg – who oversees the infrastructure and related planning of the airport – is confident that despite the airport’s small beginning, exponential growth is promising.


“By 2030, we’re expecting roughly 2 million passengers per annum… and up to 2050, 5.2 million passengers per annum. The expected traffic into Cape Town, as a region, is roughly 19.6 million and Cape Winelands Airport is expected to take roughly 25% of the total market by 2050.”


The envisioned expansion of the Cape Winelands International Airport. IMAGE: Supplied

READ MORE: Cape Winelands Airport Developing At ‘Exciting Rate’

Caitlin Maledo
Caitlin Maledo
Caitlin is an enthusiastic journalist, that has been exploring her interest in broadcast media since 2019. With a natural curiosity for the world around her, you'll always find her poking around hidden gems throughout Cape Town and surrounds.

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