Welcome to South Africa's largest city and financial center — not to mention the continent's best aviation infrastructure.
Name & ICAO identifier: Oliver R. Tambo International (FAJS)
Coordinates: 26° 08” 21' S 28° 14” 46' E
Elevation: 5,558 ft.
Runways: 3L/21R, 14,495 ft. x 200 ft., asphalt, PCN: 056FAWU; 3R/21L, 11,155 ft. x 197 ft., asphalt, PCN:050FAWU.
Slots: Yes, 24 hr.
Noise restrictions: No
Clear CIQ at: Main passenger terminal. Tambo is the busiest airport in Africa, with non-dedicated CIQ for general aviation. Clearance time can vary from one to one and a half hours.
Parking: Limited parking due to heavy commercial traffic. Overnight parking only in remote locations. Aircraft must be moved within 72 hours.
Hanagarage: Very limited.
Fuel: Jet A1
Maintenance: Airline-type equipment
Lav service: Yes
Catering: Yes, airlines
Fees: Landing, parking, and handling
Security: Major commercial airport with 24-hr. monitoring; controlled access.
Ground Transportation: All types. Recommend vetted cars and limos.
Distance and driving time to downtown: 90-min. or longer, depending on surface traffic
Since the abolishment of apartheid in 1994 and the reformation of the Republic of South Africa's government, the continent's most southernmost nation has been open for business, both regionally and internationally, and trade has been deemed “vital.”
Accordingly, South Africa and its largest and most dynamic city — Johannesburg — have emerged as popular destinations for international business aviation. The post-apartheid financial climate has also stimulated indigenous business aviation in the country, involving both company-operated and chartered aircraft. (As of 2010, some 2,500 turbine-powered aircraft — both general aviation and airline equipment — were registered in country.)
A coup for the government was award of the 2010 World Cup matches by the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), which brought millions of soccer fans to South Africa during mild Southern Hemisphere winter weather. Hosting the huge event (at several venues in addition to Johannesburg) signified a rejoining of the international community by the republic and a validation that it had come of age. A byproduct of the games was to expose the country, its democracy, infrastructure and scenic beauty (not to mention the vuvuzela plastic horn so popular with local soccer fans) to the larger world.
Johannesburg, the southern continent's financial center, is the linchpin of the South African economy, generating 16% of its GDP. Although the historic country, colonized first by the Dutch and later the British, was founded on diamond and gold mining, other industries have emerged over the years to drive the economy as reserves of the precious minerals decline. Among them are steel and cement manufacturing; mining for other minerals like coal; electronics and IT; banking and insurance; real estate; tourism; and transportation, including a vibrant aviation establishment. Accordingly, the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) is Africa's largest and most active.
The city is also a province and divided into districts and outlying entities. Thus, depending on how the metro area is described, Johannesburg's population can vary from 4.4 million (the city proper) to as high as 10.3 million when all neighborhoods and districts are included. It is situated on a plateau, the Highvelt, in the northeastern part of the country at an elevation of 5,751 ft. The city boasts a well-developed mass transit, freeway and railway system, the last two linking it with the country's other population centers. Since the end of apartheid, Johannesburg's motto has been “United in Development.”