The Department of Environmental Affairs has notified Cape Town International Airport that it has authorised the proposed runway realignment and associated infrastructure planned for the airport.
The department’s notification was communicated to the airport following a detailed examination of an independent environmental impact assessment including submissions from other interested and affected parties. The process and criteria used by the department in authorising the development plans are set out in the Environmental Management Act.
The authorisation granted by the Department of Environmental Affairs includes extensions to and realignment of the runway as well as associated infrastructure such as aircraft parking stands and taxiways. The environmental impact assessment took nearly four years of planning and assessment and included extensive public consultation.
The independent environmental consultants, SRK Consulting, are now required to inform all interested and affected parties within 12 days of the department’s decision and will also broadly advertise the Environmental Authorisation. The regulatory process provides an opportunity for appeals so that anyone who wishes to challenge the record of decision can do so. The regulations applying to the authorisation require parties to notify the department of their intentions within 20 days of the date of the environmental authorisation.
Says Deon Cloete, General Manager of Cape Town International Airport: “We are indeed pleased to have reached this milestone within the environmental assessment process. It has required a great deal of planning and continuing engagement with communities to get to this point”.
Cloete says the environmental authorisation is just one step in the process and that the EIA process is not yet fully concluded. “We still have a way to go and if all approvals are received at best construction is estimated to begin mid-2018. We will continue to follow a fair and responsible approach to this development.”
Cloete also had a special word of thanks to the public and all the airport’s stakeholders for supporting the development initiatives. “This runway project is not only about the growth of the airport, it’s about unlocking the growth potential of Cape Town and the Western Cape and we are pleased to be able to further contribute to
development of the region,” says Cloete.