OR Tambo's new passenger link for international passengers to 'ease congestion'

2017-09-01 16:35 - Selene Brophy
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Cape Town - International passengers travelling through OR Tambo International Airport during peak times will be relieved to know that the airport has opened a new passenger link to ease congestion at the main security and emigration checkpoints.

OR Tambo, previously notorious for security check-point congestion after the Department of Home Affairs introduced Biometric Data Capturing at the airport in July 2016, has grappled with ongoing congestion especially during busier flight times. 

Airports Company South Africa (Acsa) confirmed on Friday, 1 September that moving forward its new Airport’s passenger link for international passengers between Terminal A and the Central Terminal Building is set to vastly improve things. 

“The primary objective is to reduce pressure at Terminal A security and emigration during the peak times and channel some demand to Central Terminal B,” says airport spokesperson Leigh Gunkel-Keuler.

SEE: UPDATE: OR Tambo Airport to get dedicated security task team

Passengers checking in at Terminal A, which is one of the oldest sections of the airport, will now be able to avoid joining queues at the Terminal A security and emigration processing points. Congestion has grown at these points due to strong growth in international passengers in recent years.

Acsa advises that after checking in with their airline, passengers wishing to avoid the security and emigration checkpoints at Terminal A will proceed through the new passenger link to the Central Terminal B security and emigration processing points. 

Directional signage has been put up and airline check-in staff will also direct passengers to the new international passenger link.

"The link passage, built at a cost of some R2.5-million, conforms to global security requirements and was made possible after Acsa moved the existing transit security screening area to the upper level.

"This enabled the airport to create an additional screening point as well as address some compliance-related issues with traffic to and from the transit hotel," says Gunkel-Keuler.

SEE: Subdued growth across SA's major airports - Acsa

“We’re always looking for ways to improve the passenger experience at the airport. We believe that this passenger link for international passengers will reduce queuing times and improve people’s experience during busy periods,” she says.

Ambience Programme to enhance traveller’s experience.

Gunkel-Keuler says the new passenger link is one of many elements of the airport’s Ambience Programme which aims to enhance individual moments of a traveller’s experience.

“Every traveller’s experience is made up of a series of moments. It is these moments that collectively define one’s memory of a place.

"Given that the airport is 65 years old this year, there are still parts of the infrastructure that are quite old and which need to be maintained and refurbished. Our Ambience Master Plan seeks to enhance the manner in which passengers interact with our infrastructure, which has a direct impact on their overall experience at the airport,” she says.

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