Thanks to the steadily increasing demand for Lanseria from the scheduled airlines, Lanseria International Airport is still powering upwards on an ambitious growth trajectory. This despite the general aviation market being under much pressure.
In contrast to the dysfunctional Wonderboom Airport, which has been run into the ground by the Pretoria City Council, the noteworthy thing about Lanseria Airport is the general level of high satisfaction of department when the street lights on the main Malibongwe feeder road need replacing.
Not one to rest on the laurels of successfully having completed its massive
Lanseria CEO Rampa Rammopo says the upgrades include an expansion to the current pier in the main terminal building and the development of a new fuel depot. Further developments include the construction of a dedicated cargo its tenants. A meeting is held every month to allow the users of Lanseria to freely articulate their needs and to keep them updated on continual developments.
The Lanseria Operator’s Safety and Security Forum is a dynamic meeting that has the enthusiastic participation of everyone on the airport, from the SA Police Security teams and customs and immigration officials, to a bunch of dedicated facility, upgrades to the existing taxiways and the construction of an upmarket boutique hotel. This will be the second hotel at the airport – after the launch volunteers who look after the airport’s feral cats. The forum covers everything; from aircraft incidents to the airport’s recycling initiatives. The committee even intervenes with other authorities such as the roads new R200 million multi-story parkade, a further R2-billion worth of plans for improvements to Lanseria airport have already been started.
Speaking to Engineering News, in 2019 of the innovative and affordable Sleep Over motel. Rammopo says that the plans for the construction of the three- to four-star hotel – which will be built adjacent to the new parkade and offer about 100 rooms for travellers – are already in motion.
Rammopo also said, “We have experienced a double-digit growth in passenger numbers over the past five years, and the main terminal will be upgraded to cater for this growth.” He points out that the development and construction of a new fuel depot – to help mitigate any additional pressure on the current depot caused by increased demand – will start in the second quarter of this year. The project should take about 12 months, with completion scheduled for the second quarter of 2021.
“The environmental-impact assessment for the plans for the depot will be completed by no later than the first quarter of this year, so that construction can start as soon as possible,” Rammopo said to Engineering News.
Subsequent to completing the construction of the R210-million parkade, there has been increased traffic at the airport, with September and October 2019 having been “record-breaking months”. The parkade, officially opened in October and classed as a mini hub within the airport, has been well received by visitors to the airport. In addition to offering more secure covered parking, the parkade also hosts a retail area that includes a bank, car-rental facilities and restaurants. “We are proud that the parkade serves a multifunctional purpose and increases ease of access to the airport and its offerings,” Rammopo says.
He adds that Lanseria International Airport, which is privately-owned, offers a flexible business model, which allows for smaller and lesser known operators to function successfully while remaining competitive.
A long shot hoped for by Rammopo is surely the remote possibility that the Gautrain will be expanded from it primarily north south connections between Johannesburg and Pretoria to reach out westwards to Lanseria. “This will hopefully create an increase in property development, with a ripple effect to the benefit of the local workforce and travellers,” he adds. Rammopo believes that the Gautrain expansion would be a notable “game changer” for the area. “We have always been involved in developing the area and communities around the airport, and have invested heavily in corporate social investment projects – the Gautrain can only bolster these efforts.”
“Our goal is to increase the airport’s traffic to 4.5-million passengers a year by the end of 2022, with an ultimate target of six-million yearly passengers by the end of 2028.”