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Durban Intl Airport

Durban International Airport
Airport type Military (temporary)
Operator South African Air Force
Location Durban, South Africa
Elevation AMSL 29 ft / 9 m
Coordinates 29°58′07″S 30°56′52″E / 29.96861°S 30.94778°E / -29.96861; 30.94778
Direction Length Surface
ft m
06/24 8,000 2,439 Paved
Co-located with AFB Durban

Durban International Airport (formerly Louis Botha Airport) was the international airport of Durban from 1951 until 2010, when it was replaced by King Shaka International Airport, 60 kilometres (37 mi) to the north. The airport is co-located with AFB Durban.


The airport was opened in 1951, replacing the Stamford Hill Aerodrome. The original name of the airport was Louis Botha International, named after the South African statesman. The airport maintained this name until 1994 and the political changes that came with that year in South Africa. While the airport served the domestic market well, the airport suffered from low international passenger numbers and a runway that was too short for a fully-laden Boeing 747 to take off. Due to the short runway and the hub and spoke policy that was adopted in the 1990s (favouring OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg), Durban lost almost all of its international traffic.

Plans to move the airport to La Mercy, approximately 60 kilometres (37 mi) north of Durban International Airport, were proposed and shelved numerous times between the 1970s and 2007, before construction of what was to become King Shaka International Airport began in September 2007. Construction of the new airport was completed in 2010, with Durban International Airport handling its final flight on April 30, 2010 and all flights transferring to King Shaka International Airport in a single, overnight move.


At the time of the airport's closure, the following airlines operated scheduled services to Durban International Airport:

  • 1Time
  • Air Mauritius
  • Airlink
  • British Airways (operated by Comair)
  • Emirates
  • Mango
  • South African Airways
  • South African Express

Accidents and incidents

  • On June 30, 1962, a Douglas DC-4 (registration ZS-BMH) operating a scheduled South African Airways flight from Johannesburg to Durban collided with a South African Air Force Harvard trainer. The DC-4 made a successful emergency landing with 46 passengers and 5 crew; the Harvard trainer crashed with its crew of two parachuting to safety. The DC-4 was subsequently repaired.
  • On December 28, 1973, a Douglas DC-3 (registration ZS-DAK) operated by Executive Funds lost both engines when turning onto final approach and ditched in the Indian Ocean. One passenger drowned out of the 22 passengers and 3 crew.
  • On June 18, 2008, a British Airways Boeing 737-400 (operated by Comair), operating as Flight 6203 from Johannesburg, skidded off the runway at Durban International Airport while landing under adverse weather conditions. The aircraft was reported to have hit a wet patch on the tarmac, causing it to skid and resulting in the right landing-gear becoming embedded in the surrounding earth. The incident caused the closure of the airport for both arrivals and departures for several hours. All 87 passengers and six crew members escaped without serious injury.
  • On September 24, 2009, Airlink Flight 8911 crashed in the suburb of Merebank shortly after takeoff from Durban International Airport, injuring its crew of three and one person on the ground.

Future plans

The airport will be used by the South African Air Force and the Police Air Wing during the 2010 FIFA World Cup, before being decommissioned.

Although it is currently unclear as to what the future usage of the airport site will be, it is widely expected that the site will be used for future industrial development. The site is located on a large parcel of flat land in the Durban South Industrial Basin, which is already home to much of the city's heavy industry; given Durban's generally very hilly terrain, such a large, flat parcel is ideal for future industrial development, port expansion, or both.

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General Info
Country South Africa
Time UTC+2
Latitude -29.970089
29° 58' 12.32" S
Longitude 30.950519
030° 57' 01.87" E
Elevation 33 feet
10 meters
Type Joint (Civil and Military)
Magnetic Variation 024° W (01/06)
International Clearance Status Airport of Entry

TWR 118.7
Opr HS.
ATIS 127.0
APP 119.1

ID Dimensions Surface PCN ILS
06/24 8005 x 200 feet
2440 x 61 meters

Type ID Name Channel Freq Distance From Field Bearing From Navaid
VORTAC DNV DURBAN 072X 112.5 At Field -

Fuel Jet A1, without icing nhibitor.

100/130 MIL Spec, low lead, aviation gasoline (BLUE)
Other Fluids OX, Indicates oxygen servicing when type of servicing is unknown

FUEL Avbl 0400-1900Z OT PN. (NC-100LL, A1)
OPR HOURS Opr 0400 Sun-2200Z Sat.

The content above was published at in 2010.
We don't guarantee the information is fresh and accurate. The data may be wrong or outdated.
For more up-to-date information please refer to other sources.

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