Airfreight in KwaZulu-Natal
There are 17 airfields in KwaZulu-Natal and four airports
importance, namely: Durban International,
Pietermaritzburg, Richards Bay, and Margate.
The movement of airfreight in KwaZulu-Natal is mainly
confined to operations at the Durban International
Airport, located approximately 15 km of the city centre to
the south in the Southern Industrial Basin. The airport
accessible from the N2 and M4 freeways as well as the M30
and R102. It is the smallest of the three international
airports in South Africa.
Durban International Airport handles approximately 3,6
million travellers per annum. A smaller amount of freight
is handled at DIA compared to Cape Town International
Airport and O.R. Tambo International Airport.
Approximately 6,375 tons of
freight is handled annually at DIA, mostly consisting
of goods associated with passenger movements. There are
two main reasons for the low volume of freight. Firstly,
the airport's runway is only 2,439 m long, which is too
short for a fully laden large aircraft to
take off. To accommodate a fully laden freight aircraft
(Boeing 747 or Airbus 380) on take-off and landing, a
runway length of 4,2 km and 2,9 km respectively is
Secondly, the airport has no dedicated freighter service
as there is insufficient air
cargo being generated to warrant dedicated services in and
out of Durban at present.
In addition to the runway limitation, international
airlines prefer to use O.R. Tambo as a single point of
entry in South Africa.
The airfreight services are provided by a range of
airlines, using the spare capacity in the holds of
passenger aircraft on scheduled flights. A substantial
volume of the airfreight that eminates from KZN is
transported by road to O.R. Tambo and subsequently flown
internationally. The air cargo is mainly courier
parcel traffic, with limited consignment of larger
Aircraft at Durban
Aircraft at Durban
The proposed King Shaka International (KSIA) at La
Mercy, approximately 30 km north of Durban, will resolve
the problems of DIA. This airport will
replace DIA, and will feature a single runway
which will be 3,700m long which is significantly longer
2,439m runway at DIA. The runway can be
extended to 4,000m to handle much larger aircraft than
KSIA will be located close to the N2, M4 and R102 as well
the North Coast railway line. A link road between the
airport and the N2 is proposed. KSIA will integrate
passenger and freight movements without the
constraints associated with DIA.
KSIA will form part of the proposed Dube Trade Port. The
trade port will include a Trade Zone (this would include a
cargo terminal with warehousing and handling facilities
for a variety of sectors) and a Cyberport. The airport
will be a catalyst for economic development and
sustainable job creation.