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Welcome to Port Elizabeth Airport

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Port Elizabeth Airport
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Port Elizabeth Airport Information

A highlight in Port Elizabeth's history was the first flight to Port Elizabeth from Cape Town in 1917, made by Major Allister Mackintosh Miller. At that time, this was considered a long distance flight, and it heralded the start of the civil aviation industry in Port Elizabeth. This flight and many more has been captured on canvas by Ron Belling and is on display at the Ron Belling Art Gallery.

Port Elizabeth Airport was established in 1929 in close proximity to the city. It was initially founded by Lieutenant Colonel Miller, who needed an airfield to operate his postal service between the city and Cape Town. It was only officially opened some nine years later, in 1936, boasting a single runway, one hangar and a concrete apron. However, the foundations of this infrastructure will be removed to make room for additional vehicle parking.

During World War II, the airfield was extended to accommodate 42 Air School for the Royal Air Force and 6 Squadron South African Air Force on the southern and eastern sides of the field. Commercial operations were conducted from the northern side. 1954 saw the landing of the first jet-propelled aircraft - five De Havilland Vampire FB9s.

Construction of the permanent terminal buildings, runways and an air traffic control building began in 1950. The commercial operation was moved to an airfield at St Albans, some 25km from the city centre, for the construction period. The new buildings were officially opened in 1955. In 1973 the apron was extended to accommodate larger aircraft and a new departures terminal was opened in 1980. The facilities served the airport community until 2000 when plans for a major terminal upgrade were drawn.

These facilities served the community till 2000 when plans for a major terminal upgrade was drawn-up. The separate arrivals and departures buildings were consolidated into a single facility with a central retail area linking the departures with arrivals creating a light friendly atmosphere. This facility caters for domestic flights but can be screened off to operate a fully compliant International arrivals and departures section.

British Airways/Comair: +27 (0)41 508 8000
South African Airways: +27 (0)41 507 7201 / 111 +27 (0) 508 8000
1Time +27 (0) 41 507 7293
SA Airlink +27 (0)41 507 7201 / 1111

An automated teller machine can be found in the passage between the arrivals hall and the departures hall.

There is a conference room in the Aero Park Block B. The facility can seat 25 to 30 persons. Television, video, overhead projectors and white boards are available. Port Elizabeth International Airport is affectionately referred to as the "ten minute airport" as it is situated within five minutes drive from the CBD, less than that to the beach front and no more than ten minutes from other areas of importance in the city.

The airport currently handles more than 1 million passengers per year, over 38 770 air traffic movements and services all major domestic routes. Business travelers account for 60 percent of all passengers, while 80 percent of people passing through the airport reside in South Africa. It is expected that this ratio will change as tourism impacts on the region. The area is served by a structured tourism organization called the Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism.

The airport handles some 822 798 kg of cargo per month. Between the major centres of Johannesburg, Cape Town and East London. Cargo includes flowers, frozen lobster, meat, ostrich skins, other perishables, motor car components, mail and courier parcel. The airport infrastructure boasts two runways of 1 980m and 1 860m respectively. 13 aircraft parking bays on the apron and terminals measuring 8 700 square metres. The main runway is equipped with full CAT 1 ILS system from both ends.

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Contact Us

  • Customer Service: 1-866-966-3042
  • New Reservations: 1-866-966-3042