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Rand Airport

Rand Airport
Airport type Public
Operator Rand Airport Management Company (Pty) Ltd.
Location Germiston, Gauteng
Elevation AMSL 5,482 ft / 1,671 m
Coordinates 26°14′33″S 28°09′04″E / 26.2425°S 28.15111°E / -26.2425; 28.15111Coordinates: 26°14′33″S 28°09′04″E / 26.2425°S 28.15111°E / -26.2425; 28.15111
Direction Length Surface
ft m
11/29 5,617 1,712 Asphalt
17/35 4,898 1,493 Asphalt

Rand Airport (IATA: QRA, ICAO: FAGM) is an airport in Germiston, South Africa. It was constructed in the 1920s as the main airport for Johannesburg, but the city outgrew it and replaced the airport firstly with Palmietfontein Airport in the late 1940s, then with the larger Jan Smuts International Airport in the 1950s.

South African Airways has donated two Boeing 747s to the "South African Airways Museum Society" which are on display at the airport. They can be clearly seen on Google Earth adjacent to the threshold of runway 29.


At one time, Rand Airport was the busiest airport in the southern hemisphere. During the 1980s, several corporate and charter operators moved to Lanseria Airport due to safety concerns following an accident in which three crew were killed whilst on a night training exercise (see below). The runway at Lanseria is considerably longer than those at Rand Airport, and the airport altitude is 1000 feet lower (4517' as opposed to 5482' at Rand Airport). The main runway, 29/11, has since been lengthened, but not to any large degree.

In October 2000 the airport was privatized. The operators at Rand Airport formed a consortium and held 50% stake. An empowerment group called Mayondi holds 30% and the Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Council holds 20%.

Rand Airport today

Today, Rand Airport is still a busy airport. The airport hosts air charter operators, flying schools and a number of aircraft maintenance organizations, as well as pilot shops, car hire and other enterprises. The consortium has embarked on a revamp campaign, emphasizing, “It has the potential to become the complete integrated Airport Park” which will include hotels, shopping and an industrial park. The airport also hosts an annual air show.

Aeronautical Information

The following is an example of information required by aircrew to operate at this airport. Such information is usually found on approach plates and is also disseminated by means of NOTAMs (NOtices To AirMen) and other publications.

Navigational Aids

Type Identification Frequency
NDB RA 337.5
NDB RD 307.5


  • Communication frequencies
    • Rand Tower 118.7 MHz
    • Radar approach (west) 123.7 MHz
    • Radar approach (north) 134.4 MHz
    • Radar approach (south and east) 124.5 MHz


  1. Standard Terminal Arrival Routes (STARs) are published for this airport.
  2. Powerlines on runway 17 approach
  3. Radio masts in the area

Hot and High conditions

Rand Airport is notorious for its hot and high conditions and relatively short runways. Situated at an altitude of 5500 feet (or 1600 meters) above sea level, the density altitude is as high as 8000 feet when the outside air temperature(OAT) is 30°C. Special consideration must be given to flight planning in the summer when the ambient temperature is that high; there have been many accidents at this airfield as a result of reduced aircraft performance under these conditions. A compounding factor is the lack of forced landing fields or areas, as the airport is surrounded by urban sprawl. This prompted an exodus of corporate and charter operators to Lanseria Airport in the 1980s (see above).

Notable Accidents and Incidents

  • On October 6, 1970 at about 07h10am, a DC3 ZS-DKR enroute for Orapa, Botswana crashed as it attempted to return to Rand Airport after losing the port engine just after take-off from runway 35. There were two flight-crew and ten passengers aboard. The Captain and two passengers subsequently died of injuries. The aircraft was completely burnt-out after impact.
  • On April 13, 1987 a Beechcraft 200 Super King Air, ZS-KMT, crashed into a mining hostel shortly after takeoff from runway 35. Three crewmembers were killed and 2 survived. The aircraft was on a night training exercise.
  • On Aug 2, 1995, an Antonov An-2 on a cargo flight from Rand airport to Jamba, Angola, crashed shortly after takeoff killing all three persons on board. The accident was attributed to the cargo which was not properly secured and shifted during the initial climb out, rendering the aircraft uncontrollable.
  • On December 6, 1999 a Piper PA-31-350 crashed shortly after takeoff after suffering an engine failure. All 10 people on board were killed.
  • On October 21, 2008, six occupants of a Piper PA-32R-300 Lance were killed during a post crash fire following an emergency landing in a disused motor raceway. The aircraft had just taken off from runway 35 when the pilot reported technical difficulties and attempted a forced landing.

Airlines, operators and destinations

  • Phoebus Apollo Aviation
  • Henley Air

Nearby tourist attractions

  • Germiston Lake
  • Carnival City Casino
  • Gold Reef City

The above content comes from Wikipedia and is published under free licenses – click here to read more.

General Info
Country South Africa
Time UTC+2
Latitude -26.242506
26° 14' 33.02" S
Longitude 28.151169
028° 09' 04.21" E
Elevation 5483 feet
1671 meters
Type Civil
Magnetic Variation 018° W (01/06)
Beacon Yes
Near City Johannesburg

Opr 0400-1700Z Mon-Fri, 0500-1600Z Sat-Sun.
Communications Remarks  

ID Dimensions Surface PCN ILS
11/29 5617 x 50 feet
1712 x 15 meters
17/35 4898 x 50 feet
1493 x 15 meters

Type ID Name Channel Freq Distance From Field Bearing From Navaid
VOR-DME RAV RAND 124X 117.7 At Field -
NDB RDW RAND - 287.5 1.6 NM 354.5

Fuel Jet A1, without icing nhibitor.

100/130 MIL Spec, low lead, aviation gasoline (BLUE)

CAUTION Lgtd 106' twr 3280' SE rwy int.
CSTMS/AG/IMG Cstms avbl 0400-1800Z Mon Fri, OT PN.
FUEL (NC-100LL, A1)
LGT PAPI Rwy 17 GP 3.5

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