King Shaka International Airport was first conceptualised in the 1970s, with construction beginning in 1973. By 1975, earthworks and a storm drainage system had been completed. However, the project was halted in 1982 due to the economic slowdown at the time.


The project was revived in the late 1990s when the limitations of Durban International Airport became apparent. The airport’s 2,400 m (7,874 ft) runway was too short to allow large aircraft such as the Boeing 747 to operate intercontinental routes out of Durban, and the resulting decrease in international air traffic caused Durban to become marginalised with respect to Johannesburg and Cape Town. Upgrading Durban International Airport was considered but a study published in 2007 found that the existing airport would still have serious constraints and would reach its maximum potential by 2025, after which there would be no choice but to develop KSIA. It was also found that it would be 95% more expensive to operate Durban International Airport to its full potential and only then develop King Shaka Aiport, than it would be to develop King Shaka Airport immediately.

There are a number of plans floating around the interent of what the proposed masterplan is. While most of these surfaced in the early days it became apparent that none of them matched the ongoing updates to the airport. As of March 2020 in the image below is the proposed masterplan.

Here are some other picture of proposed plans which don’t seem to match the current plans and work being completed.

The updated Masterplan that was used for construction had a few issues with it. While most of the taxiways that weren’t built could easily have been built at a later stage the biggest problem was the construction of Charlie Apron, which is where international aircraft park. As this section wasn’t built according to the masterplan (including the taxiway to these apron) there was always going to be an issue following this masterplan.

Which makes sense now looking at the new remote parking bays that are being constructed and their placement. An alternative masterplan had to be drawn.

Masterplans are never perfect and are always changing. The purpose of this page is to provide as much information about all the masterplans and how they fit with the ongoing renovations at the airport.