Port Elizabeth International Airport has earned itself the title of the “ten-minute airport” as it is less than ten minutes’ drive from most major areas in the city.
Port Elizabeth International Airport was established in 1929 and is in close proximity of the city. Some nine years later it was re-opened boasting a single runway, a hangar and a concrete apron. Construction to the terminal buildings, runways and air traffic control building started in 1950 and was officially opened in 1955. In 1973 the apron was extended to accommodate bigger aircraft and a new departures terminal was opened in 1980.
The airport currently handles more than 1,2 million passengers per year, over 60 000 scheduled flights and over 800 tons of cargo. The cargo includes flowers, frozen lobster, meat, ostrich skins and mushrooms.
The growth of tourism in the region, along with preparations for the 2010 football world cup, have required a number of improvements including a terminal expansion which can now handle up to two million passengers every year. This facility provides a central retail area as well as a fully compliant international arrivals and departures terminal to complement upgraded amenities for domestic traffic.