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Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Des Van Rooyen. Picture Credit: Gallo Images
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It's 'smooth flying' for King Shaka Airport

By Corrinne Louw | May 06, 2010 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

DESPITE minor hitches that the managers of the new King Shaka International Airport see as "teething problems" it's been a smooth takeoff since the opening seven days ago.

The airport, known as KSIA, started operating on May 1 and by yesterday afternoon flights were landing and leaving like clockwork.

KSIA's general manager, Terence Delomoney, said: "The successful move to King Shaka International Airport is a huge accomplishment, not only for the airport community here, but the country at large. It makes all of us proud to stand here today and report that the airport is running smoothly."

Delomoney said the problem of baggage pilferage was a matter that they needed to attend to speedily.

"Pilferage from even one bag is one too many," he said.

The automated baggage handling system had already handled well over 20000 pieces of luggage by yesterday afternoon. The system is designed to handle an hourly throughput of 3000 pieces.

Delomoney said the airport's development had impacted positively on people, given the fact that R27,9million was set aside for socio-economic intervention for needy communities, as well as R29million for enterprise development.

This fund was managed by a committee comprising the Airports Company of South Africa, Dube Trade Port and the Ilembe Consortium (the airport developers).

Delomoney said 82percent of the approved community projects were given to communities around the airport precinct. These include Waterloo, Tongaat and Ndwedwe.

He added that the approved community projects focused on HIV-Aids, welfare, sport, environment, infrastructure development and education.

Bongiwe Pityi, KSIA's assistant general manager for Operations, said they had "taken a leaf" out of the massive relocation of Heathrow's Terminal 5 in their move from the old airport.

Airlines that have been operating at the airport from May 1 are Emirates Airlines and Air Mauritius (flying international routes), along with South African Airways, SA Express, SA Airlink, Mango Airlines, Interlink Airlines, Kulula Air, BA Comair and 1Time.


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