About OR Tambo International

OR Tambo International is situated in the East Rand, in Gauteng, South Africa. Show on Map

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.

The first renaming was done in 1994 when the newly reformed South African government implemented a national policy of not naming airports after politicians. It was renamed again on 27 October 2006 after Oliver Tambo, the former President of the African National Congress (ANC).

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.

Why not overnight? Find Accommodation in OR Tambo International

Silverbirch @ Birchwood Hotel


Silverbirch @ Birchwood Hotel

Set on 30 acres of beautifully landscaped gardens, the Birchwood offers a selection of 450 well appointed rooms, 40 ... more

Moshitametsi Guest House

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Moshitametsi Guest House

Built in a distinctive style, Moshitametsi Guest House is located in Kempton Park within a 10 minute drive of OR Tambo ... more

All Danquah Guest Lodge

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All Danquah Guest Lodge

All Danquah Guest Lodge offers the warmest accommodation in Kempton Park, about 4 kilometres away from OR Tambo ... more

Reviews of OR Tambo International

I must say that as the owner of Avon Rd Guest House I collect International Guests weekly and I cannot praise the airport enough, everything is very easy...

Christine, Boksburg

SA-Venues.com Travellers' Rating

Good for an hour or two

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