Airports Company South Africa (Acsa) on Monday announced that its six regional airports will no longer receive passenger boarding calls from July 1, 2018.
Port Elizabeth International Airport, Bram Fischer International Airport, East London Airport, George Airport, Upington International Airport and Kimberley Airport will all be implementing the intervention to reduce noise levels at the airports.
Standard operating procedures for most domestic flights require that passengers start boarding at least 30 minutes before the scheduled departure time. From July 1 public address microphones at domestic departures terminals and gates of Acsa’s six regional airports will be switched off. Passengers are advised to check their boarding passes and the flight information display boards for boarding times.
The only instances where centralised terminal announcements will be made will be for irregular operations such as gate changes, flight time changes, security matters, system failures and customer service anomalies such as lost minors.
“We believe that this is an important step in our continued effort to improve the customer service experience of passengers at our regional airports by reducing noise levels at our airports. This is in line with international best practice where airports have adopted a ‘silent airport’ policy to improve airport ambience,” Acsa corporate affairs manager - senior manager responsible for regional airports, Senzeni Ndebele, said yesterday.
This follows the implementation of noise reduction measures taken at other airports in South Africa in the last year.
Independent customer surveys commissioned by Acsa noted complaints about noise levels in airports.
Acsa said it is following the example of many international airports that have already adopted a “silent airport” policy to improve airport ambience and reduce complaints about the number and frequency of calls for individual passengers to board their flights who have checked in and then apparently gone missing.
“We believe that passengers will benefit from an improved travel experience. Passengers must please take note of their individual responsibility to get to their relevant boarding gate and board their aircraft timeously,” Ndebele said.