New airport ready to serve the world
TRANSPORT Minister Sbu Ndebele says the new King Shaka International Airport is a clear indication that South Africa is ready for the Fifa World Cup.
"The new King Shaka International Airport marks the fulfilment of a dream that began in 1996. This world-class facility is a clear indication of where we want to be in terms of development. President Jacob Zuma will officially open the airport on Saturday, May 8," Ndebele said.
He said the airport showed that South Africa was putting "our best foot forward to ensure that all those who use our transport services are able to do so effectively and efficiently".
The R8billion airport was launched for business on Saturday, replacing operations at the old Durban International Airport, a move that cost R35million.
The new airport is situated 35km from the Durban city centre. The official opening ceremony will be accompanied by the unveiling of a 3-metre King Shaka statue. The airport will serve 7,8million passengers annually and will account for over 50000 tons of manufactured goods a year.
"We are more than ready to transport both local and international fans," said MEC for transport, community safety and liaison Willies Mchunu.