Cape Town International Airport

Cape Town International Airport
WMO: 68816
Airport type Public
Operator Airports Company South Africa
Serves Cape Town
Location Matroosfontein, Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa
Hub for
Elevation AMSL 46 m / 151 ft
Coordinates 33°58′10″S 018°35′50″E / 33.96944°S 18.59722°E / -33.96944; 18.59722Coordinates: 33°58′10″S 018°35′50″E / 33.96944°S 18.59722°E / -33.96944; 18.59722

Location within the Cape Town metropolitan area

Direction Length Surface
m ft
01/19 3,201 10,502 Asphalt
16/34 1,701 5,581 Asphalt
Statistics (2015)
Passengers 9,700,000
Aircraft movements 79,551
Source: Traveller24, Cape Town International awarded for network development, published on 21 July 2016

Cape Town International Airport (IATA: CPT, ICAO: FACT) is the primary airport serving the city of Cape Town, and is the second busiest airport in South Africa and third busiest in Africa. Located approximately 20 kilometres (12 mi) from the city centre, the airport was opened in 1954 to replace Cape Town's previous airport, Wingfield Aerodrome. Cape Town International Airport is the only airport in the Cape Town metropolitan area that offers scheduled passenger services. The airport has domestic and international terminals, linked by a common central terminal.

The airport has direct flights from South Africa's other two main urban areas, Johannesburg and Durban, as well as flights to smaller centres in South Africa. Internationally, it has direct flights to several destinations in Africa, Asia and Europe. The air route between Cape Town and Johannesburg was the world's ninth busiest air route in 2011 with an estimated 4.5 million passengers.[1]


Cape Town International Airport was opened in 1954, a year after Jan Smuts Airport (now OR Tambo International Airport) on the Witwatersrand opened. The airport replaced Cape Town's previous airport, Wingfield Aerodrome. Originally called D.F. Malan Airport after the then South African prime minister, it initially offered two international flights: a direct flight to Britain and a second flight to Britain via Johannesburg.[2]

With the fall of apartheid in the early 1990s, ownership of the airport was transferred from the state to the newly formed Airports Company South Africa,[3] and the airport was renamed to the politically neutral Cape Town International Airport.[4] The first years of the twenty-first century saw tremendous growth at the airport; from handling 6.2 million passengers per annum in 2004–05, the airport peaked at 8.4 million passengers per annum in 2007–08 before falling back to 7.8 million in 2008–09.[5]

In preparation for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, Cape Town International Airport was extensively expanded and renovated. The main focus was the development of a Central Terminal Building at a cost of R1.6 billion,[6] which linked the formerly separate domestic and international terminals and provided a common check-in area.[7] The departures level of the Central Terminal opened in November 2009, with the entire building opened in April 2010.[6]

Apart from completion of the 2010 expansion project, it has been proposed that a second runway for large aircraft be constructed at Cape Town International Airport. An expected date for construction of the second runway.[8]



Apron view
Check-in hall

The terminal building has a split-level design, with departures located in the upper floors and arrivals in the lower floors; an elevated roadway system provides vehicular access to both departures and arrivals levels.[7] All check-in takes place within the Central Terminal Building, which contains 120 check-in desks and 20 self-service kiosks.[7] Passengers then pass through a consolidated security screening area before dividing, with international passengers heading north towards the international terminal (which contains immigration facilities), and domestic passengers heading south towards the domestic terminal.

The terminal contains 10 air bridges, evenly split between domestic and international usage. Sections of lower levels of the domestic and international terminals are used for transporting passengers via bus to and from remotely parked aircraft.[7]

Arriving passengers collect luggage in the old sections of their respective terminals, before proceeding through new passageways to the new Central Terminal Building.[6] The terminal contains an automated baggage handling system, capable of handling 30,000 bags per hour.[7]

Retail outlets are located on the lower (arrivals) level of the terminal at landside, as well as airside at the departure gates. Retail outlets are diverse, including foreign exchange services, bookstores, clothing retailers, grocery stores, souvenir outlets and duty-free in international departures. Restaurants within the terminal building are located on the upper (3rd) level above the departures level, which includes what is purported to be the largest Spur restaurant on the African continent, at 1,080 m2 (11,600 sq ft).[7] The restaurant level overlooks the airside of the terminal, where a glass curtain wall separates the patrons from the planes 3 storeys below.

Other facilities

There are two hotels located within the airport precinct, one being Hotel Verde, a four-star hotel owned by Bon Hotels and considered to be "Africa's greenest hotel", and other being Road Lodge, a budget hotel owned by the City Lodge hotel chain group. An ExecuJet facility is located near the southern end of the main runway, and caters for business jets. The airport also has a MyCiti BRT station which connects across the whole of Cape Town including east of the city Khayelitsha.

Airlines and destinations

Air Botswana Gaborone International
Air France Paris–Charles de Gaulle International
Airlink George, Kimberley, Nelspruit, Pretoria–Wonderboom, Skukuza, Upington Domestic
Airlink Maun, Windhoek-Hosea Kutako International
Air Mauritius Mauritius International
Air Namibia Walvis Bay, Windhoek-Hosea Kutako International
British Airways London–Heathrow
Seasonal: London–Gatwick [9]
British Airways
operated by Comair
Durban, Johannesburg–O. R. Tambo, Port Elizabeth Domestic
CemAir Plettenberg Bay Domestic
Condor Seasonal: Frankfurt International
Edelweiss Air Seasonal: Zürich International
Emirates Dubai–International International
Ethiopian Airlines Addis Ababa International
Fly Blue Crane Bloemfontein, Johannesburg-O. R. Tambo, Kimberley Domestic
FlySafair Durban, East London, George, Johannesburg-Lanseria,[10] Johannesburg–O. R. Tambo, Port Elizabeth Domestic
Kenya Airways Livingstone, Nairobi-Jomo Kenyatta International
KLM Amsterdam International Durban, Johannesburg–Lanseria, Johannesburg–O. R. Tambo Domestic
Lufthansa Frankfurt[11]
Seasonal: Munich
Mango Bloemfontein, Durban, Johannesburg–Lanseria, Johannesburg–O. R. Tambo, Port Elizabeth Domestic
Qatar Airways Doha International
Singapore Airlines Singapore1 International
South African Airways Johannesburg–O. R. Tambo Domestic
South African Airways Windhoek-Hosea Kutako International
South African Express Bloemfontein, Durban, East London, George, Hoedspruit, Port Elizabeth, Sun City Domestic
South African Express Walvis Bay International
TAAG Angola Airlines Luanda International
Thomas Cook Airlines Seasonal: London–Gatwick [12] International
Turkish Airlines Istanbul–Atatürk International


Passenger traffic

Annual passenger traffic for Cape Town International Airport[5]
Fiscal year International Regional Domestic Unscheduled Total
Passenger movements % Change Passenger movements % Change Passenger movements % Change Passenger movements % Change Passenger movements % Change
2004–05 1,176,958 no data 126,837 no data 4,895,048 no data 16,060 no data 6,214,903 no data
2005–06 1,167,661 Decrease0.8% 149,489 Increase17.9% 5,503,690 Increase12.4% 13,333 Decrease17.0% 6,834,173 Increase10.0%
2006–07 1,246,016 Increase6.7% 147,885 Decrease1.1% 6,107,405 Increase11.0% 17,237 Increase29.3% 7,518,543 Increase10.0%
2007–08 1,309,822 Increase5.1% 145,858 Decrease1.4% 6,950,061 Increase13.8% 20,877 Increase21.1% 8,426,618 Increase12.1%
2008–09 1,378,160 Increase5.2% 138,000 Decrease5.4% 6,283,132 Decrease9.6% 13,878 Decrease33.5% 7,813,170 Decrease7.3%
2009–10 1,284,990 Decrease6.8% 122,584 Decrease11.2% 6,391,079 Increase1.7% 11,416 Decrease17.7% 7,810,069 Decrease0.0%
2010–11 1,261,024 Decrease1.9% 122,609 Increase0.0% 6,781,143 Increase6.1% 35,771 Increase213.3% 8,200,547 Increase5.0%
2011–12 1,400,487 Increase11.1% 133,280 Increase8.7% 7,028,669 Increase3.7% 13,902 Decrease-61.1.% 8,576,338 Increase4.6%
2012–13 1,325,481 Decrease5.4% 144,148 Increase8.2% 6,951,577 Decrease1.1% 13,593 Decrease2.2% 8,434,799 Decrease1.7%

Aircraft movements

Annual aircraft movements for Cape Town International Airport[13]
Fiscal year International Regional Domestic Unscheduled Total
Aircraft movements % Change Aircraft movements % Change Aircraft movements % Change Aircraft movements % Change Aircraft movements % Change
2004–05 4,355 no data 4,242 no data 56,810 no data 27,154 no data 92,561 no data
2005–06 4,296 Decrease1.4% 4,169 Decrease1.7% 58,099 Increase2.3% 22,326 Decrease17.8% 88,890 Decrease4.0%
2006–07 4,623 Increase7.6% 3,698 Decrease11.3% 60,470 Increase4.1% 22,602 Increase1.2% 91,393 Increase2.8%
2007–08 5,019 Increase8.6% 3,420 Decrease7.5% 69,819 Increase15.5% 24,027 Increase6.3% 102,285 Increase11.9%
2008–09 5,638 Increase12.3% 3,340 Decrease2.3% 65,623 Decrease6.0% 21,042 Decrease12.4% 95,643 Decrease6.5%
2009–10 4,884 Decrease13.4% 3,296 Decrease1.3% 65,020 Decrease0.9% 19,379 Decrease7.9% 92,579 Decrease3.2%
2010–11 4,868 Decrease0.3% 3,137 Decrease4.8% 66,587 Increase2.4% 19,031 Decrease1.8% 93,623 Increase1.1%

Ground transport


Cape Town International Airport is approximately 20 kilometres (12 mi) from the city centre and is accessible from the N2 freeway, with Airport Approach Road providing a direct link between the N2 (at exit 16) and the airport. The airport can also be indirectly accessed from the R300 freeway via the M12, M10 and M22.

The airport provides approximately 1,424 parking bays in the general parking area, and 1,748 parking bays in the multi-storey parkade located near the domestic terminal.[14] A new parkade, which is located near the international terminal, and provides an additional 4,000 bays, was opened in 2010.[15] The airport also offers a valet parking service.[14]

Public transport

The MyCiTi bus rapid transit system provides a shuttle service connecting the airport with the Civic Centre bus station in the city centre. Buses depart every 20 minutes from 04:20 to 22:00.[16] Transport to and from the airport is also provided by metered taxis and various private shuttle companies.[4]

There is no direct rail access to Cape Town International Airport. The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa has proposed a 4 km (2.5 mi) rail link between the airport and Cape Town's existing suburban rail network.


Accidents and incidents

See also


  1. The Economist, Online (14 May 2012). "Top Flights". The Economist. Retrieved 6 June 2012.
  2. Bickford-Smith, Vivian; E. Van Heyningen; Nigel Worden (1999). Cape Town in the twentieth century: an illustrated social history. Cape Town: New Africa Books. p. 120. ISBN 978-0-86486-384-3. Retrieved 28 December 2009.
  3. "ACSA – History". Airports Company South Africa. Archived from the original on 20 July 2011. Retrieved 28 December 2009.
  4. 1 2 "Cape Town Airport (CPT) Information – Airports Guide to Cape Town". Retrieved 28 December 2009.
  5. 1 2 "ACSA – Cape Town Passenger Statistics". Airports Company South Africa. Archived from the original on 29 October 2013. Retrieved 23 October 2013.
  6. 1 2 3 Nicholson, Zara (8 November 2009). "New terminal hailed as a success". Sunday Argus. IOL. Retrieved 28 December 2009.
  7. 1 2 3 4 5 6 "ACSA – New Developments". Airports Company South Africa. Archived from the original on 20 July 2011. Retrieved 28 December 2009.
  8. "Cape Town airport may get second runway". IOL. 25 January 2002. Retrieved 28 December 2009.
  9. "British Airways Adds London Gatwick – Cape Town Service from late-Nov 2016". airlineroute. Retrieved 25 March 2016.
  13. "ACSA – Cape Town Aircraft Statistics". Airports Company South Africa. Archived from the original on 20 July 2011. Retrieved 28 December 2009.
  14. 1 2 "ACSA – Cape Town – Maps and parking". Airports Company South Africa. Archived from the original on 13 November 2008. Retrieved 28 December 2009.
  15. "More parking comes online at Cape Town International Airport". Airports Company South Africa. 10 December 2009. Archived from the original on 20 July 2011. Retrieved 28 December 2009.
  16. "Last 'Free Friday' for MyCiti inner city loop…for a while". City of Cape Town. Retrieved 17 July 2010.
  17. "World Airport Awards 2009 – Regional Results". Skytrax. Archived from the original on 29 May 2010. Retrieved 28 December 2009.
  18. "ASQ Award for Best Airport in Africa" Airports Council International. 14 February 2012. Retrieved 13 April 2012
  19. 1 2 "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 26 April 2015. Retrieved 2015-08-07.
  20. Byrom, James (1993). Fields of Air. Ashanti Publishing. ISBN 1874800545.
  21. "Accident Details – June 5, 1983". Retrieved 28 December 2009.
  22. "ASN Aircraft accident 05-JUN-1983 Cessna 402 ZS-KVG". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 28 December 2009.
  23. "ASN Aircraft accident Boeing 737–230 ZS-OEZ Cape Town International Airport (CPT)". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 28 December 2009.

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