The Airports Company of South Africa (ACSA) is in the process of conducting an Environmental Impact Study for the realignment of the Cape Town International Airport runway, which includes a wider and slightly longer strip. The realigned runway will comply with all the regular international regulations and also allow much larger commercial aircrafts such as the Airbus A380 to utilise the airport.
Construction of the realigned runway will take place is a series of six phases over three years and at the moment looks to start in the third quarter of 2014. The current set-up at Cape Town International boasts two runways for aircrafts, a Primary runway and a Secondary runway. The Primary runway is 3.2km long and 60m wide, while the Secondary is 1.7km long and 40m wide.
The proposed realigned runway will be 300m longer and 15m wider, significantly increasing the capacity of the airport. Not only will it be longer and wider, but will also have two parallel taxiways on the West side of the runway and four Rapid Exit Taxiways (RETs). Currently, Cape Town International does not have any RETs, although it uses the Secondary runway for a similar purpose. RETs allow aircrafts to leave the realigned runway at higher speeds making the runway available to other aircrafts to land or depart in a shorter space of time. This is to replace the Secondary runway which was used primarily by smaller and other non-commercial aircrafts.
The existing Primary runway will be utilised for the construction of the parallel taxiways as well as the RETs, while the Secondary runway will be demolished.