OR Tambo International Airport (previously Johannesburg International)
O.R.Tambo International Airport (airport code JHB), previously known as Johannesburg International Airport, is located in Gauteng. As the country's chief international and domestic airport, it is definitely Southern Africa's busiest airport. It is the main airport of South African Airways as well as several other local airlines. Designated Africa's leading airport in the 2005 World Travel Awards, O.R.Tambo International Airport is a hub of convenience and comfort for travelers.
The airport, originally named Jan Smuts Airport, was established in 1952. Right from its beginnings, the airport gained the great privilege of receiving a De Havilland Comet jet’s first commercial flight from London’s Heathrow International Airport to the city of Johannesburg. In the 1970s it took part in Concorde tests as a high altitude airport. In 1994 the new South African government renamed Jan Smuts Airport to Johannesburg International Airport and established a policy stating that airports would not be named for politicians. By 1996 Johannesburg International had taken the lead from Cairo International Airport as Africa’s busiest airport. In 2004 some 15.3 million passengers passed through the airport. 27 October 2006 brought another name change to the airport. Under much criticism it was named O.R.Tambo International Airport in honor of the past ANC President.
O.R.Tambo International Airport has 2 parallel north-south runways. The western runway is amongst the longest in the world, measuring 4,400m. The airports 6 terminals are divided into the domestic terminal, the transit terminal and the international terminal. In 2003 the domestic terminal was upgraded and reopened offering travelers greater facilities. The terminal is focused around the convenience of all its travelers with necessary amenities, easy movement and quick drop-off/pick-up zones. O.R.Tambo Airport’s updated facilities include a wide variety of restaurants and shops as well as ATM’s and other banking services. The airport also has an outstanding medical clinic with doctors, physiotherapists, optometrists and a dentist. Business men and women can take advantage of the great Internet connections including wireless. The relatively new parkade offers more than 5,000 parking bays. There is plenty of transport to and from O.R.Tambo International Airport including taxis, shuttles and buses. It is projected that by 2015 the airport will be handling some 24 million passengers every year.