Aviation Develop Africa

AviaDev Africa

April 2020 – Africa

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Cape Town International is making Trax. Interview with CEO, Deon Cloete

Published 27 March 2018

During a recent visit to Cape Town, Jon Howell, MD of AviaDev took the time to speak with the CEO of Cape Town International, Mr Deon Cloete to understand the future plans for development and how AviaDev will play its part.

JH: Cape Town International Airport recently won its third consecutive Skytrax award for best airport in Africa. What is it that makes the airport stand out amongst its peers?

DC: The awards that we receive are indicative of the good people that work hard every day to ensure that our airport users experience a pleasurable end to end process. We celebrate winning the Skytrax award, Best Airport in Africa for the third year running; 2018 being the recent one received at the Passenger Terminal EXPO held in Stockholm, Sweden.

There’s a wonderful sense of Team at the airport. Whether you work for the airlines or the car hire agency or security – it doesn’t matter. We are all keenly aware that we have a contribution to make in delivering a seamless airport experience. We have excellent infrastructure, but the bricks and mortar would be meaningless without the people. Airport staff are passionate, and our passengers and airport users can obviously tell, this is why we’re Africa’s most award-winning airport – it’s a title we are very proud of. Something we do not take for granted.

JH: How important has the Cape Town Air Access committee been to your success?

DC: Airports Company South African is proactively driving the Aerotropolis as a strategy to levering the airports as socioeconomic assets for the regions they serve. The future of cities is inextricably linked to their airports. We know that for an Aerotropolis to thrive it must be boosted by Air Access, so the initiative has been extremely important. We’ve seen many route expansions as well as new routes because of this dedicated focus. The more we grow Air Access the better the case for infrastructure investment. In fact, we have an ambitious expansion programme planned for the next five years, in the region of R7 billion, to ensure that we can meet this growing demand. This is a direct investment into the economy of the Western Cape. Thriving regions must be supported by unfettered air access.

JH: What are the major developments taking place at the airport that we should be aware of?

DC: Our R7 billion CAPEX programme includes realigning our runway, expanding our Domestic Arrivals Terminal as well as expanding the International Terminal amongst other projects such as additional aircraft parking stands.

We recently received an Environmental Impact Assessment approval to realign the runway. This implies that we will be able to expand our current capacity and allow Code F aircrafts such as the A380 to arrive and depart at CTIA. The others are:

Refurbishing the current domestic arrivals area and adding additional carousels
Reconfiguring Terminal 2 the current International Arrivals area, also adding additional carousels and extending the meeters and greeters area
Apron reconfigurations
Valet and pick up and go switches
Other smaller projects

JH: If I only had one day to spend in Cape Town, how should I spend it?

DC: Enjoy a breakfast in Muizenberg, take a drive to Boulders Beach where one can experience the penguins and their fascinating colonies. Go to Cape Point where nature is at its best and get a taste of both the Indian and Pacific Ocean. Enjoy a lunch in the enchanting Kirstenbosch Gardens and view the blue side of Table Mountain. Have a quick wine tasting at a wine farm in Constantia. Drive over Chapmans Peak overlooking the ocean. Should the Cape Doctor (South Easter wind) be in your favour, make your way to the cable car and have a sunset picnic on Table Mountain, one of the Seven Wonders Of the World and take in a panoramic view of Cape Town. End off your day with dinner at the vibrant, cosmopolitan and sassy V&A Waterfront.