O. R. Tambo International Airport

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The OR Tambo International Airport ( formerly Jan Smuts International Airport, 1994-2006 Johannesburg International Airport ), and Johannesburg International Airport, is an international airport near Johannesburg in South Africa. The area of the airport is 1,600 acres.

The busiest airport in Africa is the hub of Africa's largest airline, South African Airways, as well as many smaller companies. He also acts as an airport for the capital Pretoria.

Location and Transport

The OR Tambo International Airport is located beyond the territory of the metropolitan municipality of the City of Johannesburg, close to its eastern edge, in the field of city Kempton Park. South of the airport there is Benoni. Both cities in the metropolitan municipality of Ekurhuleni.

About the road network to reach the airport primarily on the N12 national road, whose course extends on the southern periphery of the airport in east-west direction. From their branches on the cross Rietfontein the highway -like -developed regional road R21 towards the north from which enables the access and exit of car traffic at the main entrance and on, the crossing, runs N1 ​​to Pretoria. Another regional road R24, introduced her to the airport from the west. It branches from the N12 at Junction Meadow Brook in Germiston from. It creates in a westerly direction over the Albertina Sisulu Road connects directly to the central business district of Johannesburg.

There is also a railway line with a train station near the west side of the airport. Your route takes in the south from the center of Germiston and leads further north on Olifantsfontein Pretoria.

From the Johannesburg metropolitan area, a branch of the Gautrain rail system comes close and ends in the airport area.

The public bus system runs the airport to Johannesburg (JNB Airport Transportation). It is operated under the label Rea Vaya. In addition to this there is the possibility minibuses private providers on and abzufahren.


The airport was built in 1952 when Jan Smuts airport near the city of Kempton Park ( East Rand). In the same year here the jet age was heralded as the first commercial flight of the De Havilland DH 106 here, coming from London Heathrow Airport, landed.

The Jan Smuts Airport was also the test airport for the prototype Concorde during the 1970s - specifically, to assess the flight behavior at high-altitude airports. During the 1980s, many countries blocked the economic relations because of apartheid, so many airlines einstellten the operation of the airport.

In 1994, after the first free elections in South Africa, the name was changed to Johannesburg International Airport.

Since 1996, the airport is in terms of aircraft movements the busiest airport on the continent, and thus replaced the Cairo airport. 2006, 17.3 million passengers were handled. The airport is also one of the 100 busiest in the world.

The South African government appointed in October 2006 to the airport to OR Tambo International Airport ( ORTIA ). Oliver R. Tambo was in the 1980s, Chairman of the African National Congress and thus one of the heads of the anti -apartheid movement.

The new International Pier and the Domestic Terminal was completed in 2007. By the end of 2009, the airport was upgraded to become the onslaught of justice, which was expected for the Football World Cup 2010.

Flight operations

International flights

The main companies operating in this airlines South African Airways ( terminals A and B), Air France (Terminal A), KLM (Terminal A), Emirates (Terminal A) and more than 40 foreign airlines, including Lufthansa, Swiss International Air Lines and British Airways. The internal flights from Domestic Airport serves South African Express.

Due to the altitude of 1694 m above sea level, the air pressure and the air density at the Airport is less. This is especially problematic at high air temperatures. Because of the lower air density, the aircraft require the same weight for a longer takeoff distance than at lower altitude airports (see also explanation under hot and high ). For a flight to New York City with a Boeing 747-400 or an Airbus A340 -300 had to be between landed for refueling in Lagos, Dakar or Ilha do Sal, because the runways are too short for fully fueled aircraft of this type. Since the Einflottung of the Airbus A340 -600 by South African Airways, the route can also be operated nonstop.

There are two parallel points of asphalt slopes (north-south running, 3,400 m and 4,400 m long). Soon, a third runway to be built that crosses them.

The airport is serviced regularly by aircraft of the type Airbus A380.

Internal flights

In the entire area there is a domestic airport, the Domestic Airport. From this go from domestic flights. Between the international and domestic field there are passport and customs controls, as with every entry and exit of a national border.

Air freight

On the OR Tambo International Airport and cargo flights of numerous companies such as Cargolux, Lufthansa Cargo or Martinair be settled.


In the airport there is a museum of the airline, South African Airways, with many interesting exhibits of aviation history.

Competing Airports

In the north of the City of Johannesburg, close to Sandton and Diepsloot, there is the privately operated Lanseria International Airport. On the Rand Airport in Germiston land inland flights.