Cape Winelands Airport Embarks on Visionary Transformation

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Nestled amidst the picturesque winelands of South Africa’s Western Cape, Cape Winelands Airport, an 80-year-old aviation gem, is poised for a groundbreaking metamorphosis. As the airport charts an ambitious course toward scheduled domestic and international passenger services, coupled with steadfast support for general aviation, a bold vision is unfolding—one that transcends the conventional boundaries of airports and cities.

Scheduled to open its gates in 2027, with construction commencing in 2025, the Cape Winelands Airport expansion project is set to redefine air travel in the region. Spearheaded by a formidable team of seasoned veterans and industry experts, including the likes of Deon Cloete, renowned for leading Cape Town International Airport and Durban Airport, as well as airport planning expert Adele Klingenberg, former ACSA CEOs Monhla Hlahla, and Dick Ackerman, this project brings together a wealth of experience to craft a legacy of excellence.

The core concept driving this transformation echoes the mantra: ‘the Airport leaves the city, the city follows the airport, and the airport becomes the city.’ This visionary approach sets the stage for an airport city that seamlessly integrates into its urban surroundings, creating a harmonious synergy between air travel and city life.

One of the project’s key strengths lies in its strategic geography, nestled between Paarl, Stellenbosch, and Cape Town. This positioning unlocks new tourism nodes in the region, turning Cape Winelands Airport into a gateway to undiscovered wonders. It’s not merely an airport; it’s a catalyst for regional growth and prosperity.

The value proposition of having a second airport in the region is nothing short of revolutionary. Not only does it result in substantial fuel savings and optimized reserve fuel planning for inbound flights, but it also alleviates the burden on Cape Town International Airport during closures or emergencies. The ripple effect is felt in the reduction of CO2 emissions, an increase in payload capacity, and the unlocking of new air routes, thereby enhancing air access and facilitating the growth of the aviation industry.


Designed as a Category 9 airport, Cape Winelands boasts a 3.5km runway—a testament to its readiness to accommodate some of the world’s largest aircraft, including the Airbus A380. The ambitious forecast of welcoming 2 million passengers by 2030, 3.8 million by 2040, and a staggering 5.2 million by 2050, positions Cape Winelands Airport as a major player in the global aviation landscape.

Crucially, the expansion project caters not only to commercial aviation but also to private and business aviation, addressing a critical need in the industry. The increase in hangar capacity provides much-needed relief, ensuring that Cape Winelands is not just an airport; it’s a comprehensive aviation hub supporting diverse needs.

In a groundbreaking move towards sustainable aviation, the Cape Winelands Airport is expanding with a focus on becoming a smart and green hub. The core drivers of this expansion are centered around making the airport completely off the grid for all services – energy, water, and waste according to one of the executives.

The commitment to sustainability goes beyond mere rhetoric and One of the key aspects highlighted by the executive is the independent verification by PACE Aerospace Engineering. Their assessment reveals substantial benefits for both the aviation industry and the environment. For diversion planning, flights opting for CWA experience a 5% reduction in fuel uplift, burn, and cost. This not only provides airlines with a cost-effective alternative but also significantly contributes to the global push for reduced carbon emissions.


Furthermore, the green initiatives at CWA extend beyond diversion benefits. All flights operating into and out of Cape Town International Airport stand to gain a 5% reduction in carbon emissions by choosing CWA as their preferred diversion option. This added incentive reinforces the airport’s commitment to environmental stewardship. By integrating smart and green solutions, the airport aims to set a new standard for eco-friendly aviation practices.

As the global aviation community actively seeks ways to reduce its environmental impact, initiatives like the Cape Winelands Airport expansion serve as a beacon, demonstrating the feasibility and benefits of embracing sustainability in the skies.


As Cape Winelands Airport embarks on this transformative journey, it exemplifies the convergence of innovation, expertise, and vision. This isn’t just an expansion; it’s a testament to the limitless possibilities when a community, led by stalwarts of the aviation industry, comes together to shape the future of air travel. Cape Winelands Airport is not just taking off; it’s soaring to new heights, carrying the aspirations of a region on its wings.


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