Lanseria International: Johannesburg's Lesser-Known Gateway

By Ivan PetrenkoMay 9, 2024 22:30 PMNews
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Aerial photography of urban city skyline during daytime
Aerial photography of urban city skyline during daytime. Source: unsplash

While OR Tambo International garners most of the attention as Johannesburg's primary airport, Lanseria International Airport (HLA) plays a significant but quieter role in the region's air travel landscape. Located about 54 km from its bustling counterpart, Lanseria offers a unique blend of commercial and private aviation services. Here are five fast facts about this pivotal yet understated airport.

Lanseria International was born from the vision of two ambitious South African pilots in 1974, despite local resistance due to its proximity to tranquil farming lands. Officially opened two years later for privately operated aircraft, it has since grown to accommodate daily commercial flights and remains the only other international airport in Gauteng Province.

Owned by a consortium including the Public Investment Corporation, Nozala, and Harith, Lanseria is unique in South Africa as a privately held entity offering commercial services. This ownership structure has facilitated its development independent of the government-operated Airports Company South Africa, which manages the country's three major airports.

Daily, Lanseria handles flights to major South African cities like Durban and Cape Town, primarily serviced by FlySafair. This route diversity proves essential for travelers looking for alternatives to the often congested OR Tambo. Moreover, Lanseria's role extends beyond commercial flights, serving as a hub for private aviation with facilities capable of accommodating various fixed base operators.

In addition to its aviation services, Lanseria boasts comfortable passenger amenities, including the Bidvest and Slow lounges, which offer relaxation and various services to travelers across all ticket classes. These lounges provide a more intimate and convenient experience compared to the larger OR Tambo.

Lanseria's strategic importance was highlighted when Nelson Mandela landed here in 1990, marking his first steps in Gauteng after his long imprisonment. This historical moment underlines Lanseria’s role not just in South Africa’s aviation but also in its broader national story.

Lanseria International continues to be a critical yet underappreciated component of Johannesburg's transportation infrastructure, providing valuable service alternatives and contributing to the regional economy.

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