New airport link at OR Tambo will ease congestion

NEW, advanced and non-intrusive smart security technology will speed up the process with screenings that will not require people to display laptops and accessories such as wrist watches.

AIRPORTS Company South Africa (ACSA) has opened its new passenger link and introduced advanced smart security technology.

The new R2.5-million passenger link is meant to ease congestion at the main security and emigration checkpoints for international flights.

Twelve weeks of construction has produced the new link between Terminal A and the Central Terminal Building. Space for the new link was made by moving the existing transit security screening area to the upper level.

The new tunnel with signage allows passengers checking in at the old Terminal A to avoid joining queues at the terminal’s security and emigration processing points.

MEDIA representatives inside the newly built tunnel connecting Terminal A and Central Terminal Building.

According to Leigh Gunkel-Keuler, senior manager of corporate affairs and spokesperson of OR Tambo International Airport, the development was necessary because the capacity of aircraft changed over the years from smaller aircraft to larger ones that carry more traffic.

“At the moment we experience air traffic movement of between 600 and 700 on any given day and the airport has already welcomed more than 21 million passengers.”

Gunkel-Keuler is proud of the airport’s adoption of non-intrusive smart security technology that is among the best in the world. With the new screening processes, passengers will not be required to remove items such as laptops from their bags.

A passenger will enter a screening booth that will scan and identify items without making passengers feel uncomfortable. This smart security technology was run on a pilot basis last year, where it was proved that it speeds up the process of screening passengers.

“The primary objective is to reduce pressure at Terminal A security and emigrations during peak times and channel some demand to Central Terminal. We are looking for ways to improve the passenger experience at the airport. 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,” said Gunkel-Keuler.

The airport is 65 years old this year. Gunkel-Keuler said there were still parts of the infrastructure that were quite old and needed to be maintained and refurbished.

She said if OR Tambo, the man after whom the airport iwa named, were still alive today, he would have turned 100. As such, the airport will erect two statues in his honour in October.

James Mahlokwane
Senior Journalist

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