King Shaka International Airport (IATA: DUR, ICAO: FALE), also known as La Mercy Airport, and abbreviated KSIA, is the primary airport serving Durban, South Africa. Located in La Mercy, KwaZulu-Natal, approximately 35 km (22 mi) north of the city centre of Durban, it opened its doors to passengers on 1 May 2010, just over a month before the start of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. It replaced Durban International Airport (ICAO: FADN) and uses the same IATA airport code. The airport was designed by Osmond Lange Architects and Planners and cost R6.8 billion (about US$900 million).
Although the larger airport was built to grow the area's international services, it is also a key airport for domestic services throughout South Africa, serving the "Golden Triangle" between Cape Town International Airport (IATA: CPT, ICAO: FACT), OR Tambo International Airport (IATA: JNB, ICAO: FAJS) in Johannesburg, and KSIA itself with 7 airlines. KSIA was the 9th busiest airport in Africa according to 2010 statistics, despite not being open for the first four months.
The airport forms part of the Dube Tradeport, which will additionally consist of a trade zone linked to the airport's cargo terminal, facilities to support the airport such as nearby offices and transit accommodation for tourists, an integrated agricultural export zone, and an IT platform.
The largest aircraft KSIA currently has scheduled services for is the Boeing 777-300ER, with Emirates operating Dubai–Durban, but KSIA's runway length and terminal were designed and have demonstrated the ability to handle the largest aircraft, such as the Airbus A380. For example, South African Airways flew to Durban using Airbus A340s during the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
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