Six South African Airports Go ‘Silent’

ACSA has announced that a number of regional airports have gone ‘silent’ in an effort to reduce noise pollution. Passengers beware.
Jason Snyman
2018-06-27
South Africans love travelling by airplane, and though SAA has certainly had its problems, our airports are still pretty great. Cape Town International has been in the news lately, related to the chaos surrounding the change of its name. Next on that list are the East London, Port Elizabeth International and Kimberley airports. Over 800 000 trips booked through Travelstart have also recently revealed which our favourite domestic and international destinations have been in 2018. Internationally, Harare in Zimbabwe emerged on top. This was followed by London (UK), Mauritius, New York (USA) and Windhoek (Namibia). Locally, Cape Town remained SA’s favourite destination. This was followed by Johannesburg (O.R Thambo), Durban, Johannesburg (Lanseria) and then Port Elizabeth. Now, however, airports are in the news for a whole different reason. Six regional airports have gone silent.
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ACSA Announces End To Boarding Calls At Airports

South African passengers will have to start paying extra attention when travelling from regional airports. As of 1 July 2018, passengers will no longer be receiving passenger boarding calls. This will be implemented at the following:
  • Port Elizabeth International Airport;
  • Bram Fischer International Airport;
  • East London Airport;
  • George Airport;
  • Upington International Airport; and
  • Kimberley Airport.
As any frequent flyers will know, standard operating procedure for most domestic flights requires passengers to begin boarding their planes at least half an hour before departure. In a statement, Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) said:
“From 1 July 2018, public address microphones at domestic departures terminals and gates of Airports Company South Africa’s six regional airports will be switched off. Passengers are advised to check their boarding passes and the flight information display boards for boarding times.”
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Reason For The Change

ACSA’s corporate affairs manager, Senzeni Ndebele, said that ACSA had noted numerous complaints about noise levels in terminals. The reason stated for cutting these boarding calls is to reduce noise pollution. Centralised terminal announcements will now only be made for:
  • Irregular operations, such as gate changes;
  • Flight time changes;
  • Security issues;
  • System failures;
  • Lost minors, and;
  • Customer service anomalies.
Ndebele believes that this is an important step in ACSAs continued effort to improve the customer service experience for passengers.
“This is in line with international best practice where airports have adopted a ‘silent airport’ policy to improve airport ambience.”
Fewer announcements will now be made for those who have checked in for flights and then suddenly gone missing. ACSA has cautioned passengers to please take note of their individual responsibility to get to their relevant boarding gates and board their planes in a timely fashion.