Gauteng DestinationsOR Tambo International, East Rand
Formerly known as Johannesburg International Airport, the OR Tambo International Airport is a large airport near the city of Johannesburg, South Africa.
OR Tambo International Airport serves as the primary airport for domestic and international travel to or from South Africa. TheAirport is Africa's busiest airport, handling over 16 million passengers yearly. The airport is the hub of South Africa's largest international and domestic carrier, South African Airways (SAA), and a number of smaller local airlines. Interestingly, the airport was founded in 1952 as "Jan Smuts Airport", two years after his death, near the town of Kempton Park on the East Rand. It displaced the "Palmietfontein International Airport", which had handled European flights since 1945.
During the 1980s many countries stopped trading with South Africa because of the United Nation sanctions forced against South Africa in the struggle against apartheid, and many airlines had to stop flying to the airport. These sanctions resulted in South African Airways being refused rights to fly over most African countries. Following the ending of apartheid, the airport's name, and that of other international airports in South Africa, was changed to politically-neutral names and these restrictions were ceased.
There are two parallel runways, which run north-south, and a disused cross runway. The western runway, is over 4400 m in length, making it one of the world's longest international airport runways. There are six terminals at the airport, but these can be broken down into three major areas: the international terminal; the domestic terminal; and the transit terminal.
This spectacular airport boasts hundreds of shops, restaurants and bakeries all offering different tastes. When waiting for flights, travelers are able to rest, feast and even shop till their hearts content.
OR Tambo International Airport also serves as grounds for the South African Airways Museum. This is a large room filled with South African Airways memorabilia and which started as an idea by two fans of the airline until they could set it up in one of Jan Smuts International's buildings in 1987. The Oliver Tambo International Airport has experienced numerous developments and improvements over the years and is always increasing in size. The entire airport is beautifully designed and decorated making it one of the best and most comfortable airports in South Africa.