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O.R Tambo International Airport recently unveiled the first phase of a R4.5 billion mixed-use development that is set to transform the Western Precinct.

General Manager of the Airport, Bongiwe Pityi-Vokwana detailed the airport’s plans to unlock the development potential of 180 000 square metres of bulk for a mixed-use development to be located on the northern precinct of the airport at a sod-turning ceremony for the Western Precinct Development.

Construction on the 8.5-hectare site will begin this month with the first phase expected to be completed by the end of 2020. The first phase of the project will see construction of three six-storey office buildings, above podium with a floor area of 33 000 square metres.

World class infrastructure

“As the busiest airport in Africa and the international gateway to South Africa, it is imperative that O.R Tambo International Airport remains an international landmark with world-class infrastructure and a large variety of services for all users and markets,” Pityi-Vokwana explained

“The Western Precinct development forms part of a strategy to expand our offering and to drive new sources of growth for the entire region,” she continued.

The iconic structure will house all the vertical and horizontal circulation functionality in a clear and legible way anchored by the Gautrain station at its core and will provide a unique architectural language to Africa’s largest airport.

The first phase buildings will provide for:

  • Corporate head office for Airports Company South Africa and the South African Civil Aviation Authority and
  • Common-use facilities such as a fitness centre, canteen and creche.

The development will improve the connectivity from the Gautrain station and to existing hotels and facilities via pedestrian friendly connections to the international terminal building.

Long-term Infrastructure Master Plan

In addition to this development, the company’s long-term Infrastructure Master Plan features midfield cargo and midfield passenger terminals, each requiring several billion rands in further investment.

“At the same time, airport users will start to see upgrades to the existing terminal buildings. So, we are entering a very exciting period in the life of our airport which supports about 38 000 jobs in and around the precinct,” said Pityi-Vokwana.

She added that the planned revamp of the airport’s façade will present an entirely new profile in keeping with its size and role in the regional and national economies. The iconic airport development precinct will serve as a catalyst in transforming the Airport hub into an Aerocity.

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