Cape Town International Airport Planning

Client(s): Airports Company South Africa (ACSA)
Date: 1996 - Current
Area/Extent: +/- 650 ha
Topic: Airport Planning
Partner(s): n/a
Cape Town International Airport Aerial Photograph

The Project Challenge

Having worked on Cape Town International Airport since 1996, NM & Associates continue to find the project challenging, stimulating and a wonderful ongoing learning experience. Work on CTIA commenced with preparation of the Development Framework Vol 7 in association with CNdV Africa followed by input into the Masterplan.

The challenges at Cape Town International Airport include:

  • The concept of a living masterplan for airside related activities that requires continuous updating against international trends in world travel and airports becoming cities within cities.
  • The response of the non-aviation land side property development programme in respect of changing international air travel trends and the land uses that are attracted to airports as a result.
  • The approach to integrated aviation and non-aviation land side planning and design and how we begin to deal with the environmental and other impacts of the airport on the surrounding urban systems.

Principles & Approach

The Package of Plans approach remains the most appropriate method of dealing with the scale of the airport and the varied requirements of air side and land side from a design and procedural planning point of view. The Package of Plans approach allows the Airports Company to continue with the delivery of services on a day to day basis but at the same time follow due procedure to pursue its more strategic property development programme on land earmarked for non-aviation purposes on a precinct by precinct basis.


The existing runway is to be realigned by about 2013/14 and a second runway planned towards the eastern side of the airport to accommodate growth in passenger numbers from 8 million in 2010 to about 24 million beyond 2021. This involves ongoing improvements to the terminal buildings and airfield to continue to service increased air traffic movements and passengers. Improvements to the road and services infrastructure require careful coordination to service growth in both airside and land side development. To date ACSA has spent approximately R1,6 billion on improvements to the terminal buildings.

Of the 650ha that was earmarked for land side planning in 1996, approximately 50 ha (in Precincts 1, 2 & 3) have been developed for cargo, logistics, distribution and other general industrial opportunities that require to be located close to air transport but also benefit directly from being accessible to road and rail networks in Cape Town. To date, NM & Associates have been responsible for the planning applications associated to Precinct 1, 2, & 3. This amounts to R????billion of development which has taken place at CTIA through ACSA’s commercial property development programme.