South Africa Airports
Over the recent years, the air traffic in South Africa has increased dramatically due to the influx of tourists, visitors and business related visitors. South Africa has become a leader in safari, wildlife and eco-tourism, and thousands flock to the country every year, to experience the African wildlife and explore a country with diverse cultures, an amazing history and a vast landscape of natural treasures and magical destinations. To accommodate the vast numbers of visitors and travelers, South Africa depends on its strong aviation infrastructure and the network of airports that are scattered over the country.
The airports in South Africa fall into different categories, as some are international and domestically orientated, while others focus on chartered flights and light aircraft. The largest South African airports are owned and managed by the ACSA, or Airports Company of South Africa. Airports under ACSA management include the biggest airport in South Africa namely the O.R. Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, the second largest, which is Cape Town International Airport and the Durban International Airport, which is third. Other airports include the Bloemfontein Airport, East London Airport, George Airport, Kimberley Airport, Port Elizabeth Airport, Pilanesburg Airport and Upington Airport. Nine of ACSA’s airports have international airport status and between them handle most of the air traffic in South Africa.
To cover the entire landscape, South Africa makes use of smaller airports, like Margate, Nelspruit, Port Alfred and Vryheid that divert passengers from the bigger airports to specific destinations. Most of these South African airports or airfields make use of light aircraft and assist in flights for privately owned aircraft. The Lanseria International Airport, which is located in Johannesburg, is owned by a consortium of private owners and investors, and was given International airport status in 2001. Lanseria International Airport does deal with commercial airlines such as Kulula, but concentrates mainly on charted flights.
The Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport is another airport that deals with chartered flights, but also handles flights from airliners such as SA Airlink, Nationwide, Interlink Airlines, Nelair and Pelikan Air Services. This airport is known as the port to Mpumalanga, and is also close to the world renowned Kruger National Park, and other popular attractions.
The Air Traffic Navigation Services, or ATNS, provide most of South Africa and surrounding countries with a sophisticated, technologically advanced and functional navigational system. They are also responsible for the training of air traffic controllers, to ensure safer skies and better service delivery. Safety standards, licenses and Air Traffic Services that are implemented at airports throughout South Africa, are managed and regulated by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).