ACSA Update

ACSA has embarked on a long term strategy to improve service standards at the airport and make the end-to-end process of passenger facilitation more efficient and hospitable.

The Customer Care department has forged relationships with the key organisations representing disability groups, namely QASA, NCPPDSA and NID so that these organisations can offer advice and support on relevant issues.

At an advisory forum workshop in April of this year their Customer Care Department hosted a focus group that walked around OR Tambo Airport with advisors from disability groups, assessing the infrastructures and facilities to see if improvements could be made.

They also conduct assisted passenger audits, to measure service and compliance levels, which are collected and discussed at weekly meetings of airside manager and all ramp handling managers.

The airport’s objectives are to:

  • Increase efficiency and comfort of the end-to-end process for all passengers with disabilities
  • Improve infrastructure, thus ensuring easier access
  • Create an awareness of disability access issues
  • Sensitise staff to all disabilities, namely mobility, hearing and sight
  • Upgrade, monitor and manage key areas affecting passengers i.e. parking, holding areas, office areas, passenger aid units (PAU’s), retail areas, roadways, training and access.

Approximately 25 areas have been identified that require attention. They have already resolved two of those issues. Parking bays for people with disabilities in the domestic arrivals drop-off zone have been relocated outside the boom and the card reader at the inter-leading door for passengers using wheelchairs to access the domestic arrivals terminal (eliminating having to go out of the egate terminal and back into the arrivals hall) has been replaced.

Three more projects should be completed by the end of December.

ACSA will provide non-slip shoes for ramp handlers and allocate ten parking bays in the Super South Parade for wheelchair users and, for me the most exciting of all, assisted passengers will soon be able to communicate their experiences directly to the ACSA Customer Care department via telephone, e-mail, sms, or online.

While they are setting that up, ACSA’s Michelle Kalkwarf urges every person with a disability who uses OR Tambo to please contact her with any feedback. You can phone her on 011-921-6038 or email

And, as always, forethought and planning makes for happier travels!

Columnist Photos