Cape Winelands airport aims to rival Cape Town International with multibillion-rand upgrade

Posted on 17 May 2024 By Savanna Douglas

A multibillion-rand airport project aims to rival Cape Town International Airport. Major plans for the Cape Town Winelands Airport outside of Durbanville are underway.

Built on the historic Fisantekraal Airport site, established in 1943 for the South African Airforce during World War 2, the Cape Town Winelands Airport is gearing up to undergo a substantial transformation under the leadership of the Managing Director of rsa.AERO, Nick Ferguson.

Ferguson recently revealed that the private airport group has secured a 15-year agreement with German airline, Lufthansa.

This agreement will supplement the group’s objective to develop a “destination alternate” for Mother City travellers, as Furguson put it, in an interview with News24.

Plans to develop the Cape Town Winelands Airport include an ambitious R7-billion expansion, featuring a Code F runway spanning 3,500m to accommodate large aircraft that aren’t accommodated at Cape Town International, such as the Airbus A380.

In his presentation to investors and tenants on Thursday, Ferguson underlined the issue of limited airline hub options in South Africa.

He noted significant fuel expenses for carriers travelling between airports, stressing the need for alternate local facilities that will accommodate increased air traffic.

The upcoming Cape Winelands Airport aims to address this, with projections suggesting industry savings of R1.2 billion by 2027.

Ferguson anticipates it serving as a viable alternative to Cape Town International.

The major expansion will incorporate a realigned runway and associated aircraft parking stands, a new terminal building, a cargo processing facility, a new hangerage, fuelling facilities, a heliport, a hotel, a plaza, a conference center, and wine-tasting facilities.

Image: Cape Winelands.AERO

The airport aims to operate off-grid for water and electricity, leveraging solar and biogas power sourced from chicken manure.

Set to be operational by 2027, Ferguson foresees the airport capturing 25% of the local market share by 2050, catering to a diverse range of travellers and airlines.

Phase 1, expected to be completed by 2027, targets 1.1 million passengers annually, with expansion construction likely commencing next year.

While formal applications are pending, the the Western Cape government and Cape Town municipality have supported the project, which promises to stimulate economic growth and job creation, benefiting various sectors and communities.

Public participation remains ongoing, inviting residents to engage in the development process.

As noted by News24, residents of the Winelands have raised concerns regarding noise pollution and air traffic.

PHS Holdings, the consulting company overseeing this development, says that the private group has yet to lodge a formal environmental impact assessment application.

“The size and scope of the airport development requires that an environmental impact assessment (EIA) is undertaken. The airport recently lodged its Notice of intent to submit an application for Environmental Authorisation, marking a crucial step forward in the realisation of its vision,” reads the Cape Winelands website. 

Feature Image: Unsplash / Werner Du Plessis

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