Domestic passengers at OR Tambo to get silent treatment

12 November 2017 - 15:49 By Timeslive
An SAA Aircraft on the runway at the OR Tambo International Airport. File photo.
An SAA Aircraft on the runway at the OR Tambo International Airport. File photo.
Image: Gallo Images / The Times / Alon Skuy

Domestic passengers at Johannesburg’s OR Tambo international airport will be given the silent treatment in future – but it’s all in the name of keeping noise levels down at the country’s biggest and busiest airport.

The airport advised on Sunday that from Wednesday all microphones at the Domestic Departures Terminal and gates will be switched off.

“Standard operating procedures for most domestic flights require that passengers start boarding at least 30 minutes before the scheduled departure time. From Wednesday‚ no passenger boarding calls will be made. Passengers are advised to check their boarding pass 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‚” the airport said in statement.

Spokesperson for the airport Leigh Gunkel-Keuler said: “We have noted that a consistent issue for passengers in independent customer surveys is noise levels in airports. A particular concern for customers is the number and frequency of calls to board and calls for individual passengers who have checked in and then apparently gone missing.”

She said that many international airports had adopted a “silent airport” policy in an effort to improve airport ambience. “We remain focused on providing the best passenger experience and this move is part of trying to meet customer expectations‚” she said.

“We trust that passengers will exercise vigilance and appreciate their individual responsibilities in going to the boarding gate and boarding the aircraft in good time‚” Gunkel-Keuler added.