Grand Central Airport celebrates 80 years in aviation

The terminal at Grand Central Airport.

 

It might be hard to believe that Grand Central Airport, the general aviation airport at the east end of New Road in Midrand, has been in existence for 80 years.

Starting out in 1937 as a club for flying enthusiasts, the airport has grown and changed tremendously over the years and further growth is anticipated.

At the end of last year, the airport’s management began to investigate the viability of expanding their infrastructure to include new multi-functional hangars and/or T-hangars, additional taxiways and more helipads and parking. This followed the airport’s acquisition by Old Mutual Life Assurance Company of South Africa which already owned the land around Grand Central Airport.

For those not familiar with the airport it is well worth a visit, even if you are not flying anywhere. While sampling a drink or snack at the Harvard Café on the north side of the terminal building, you can enjoy a view directly onto the aircraft parked on the apron and the runway beyond where light aircraft and helicopters fly in and out. A spacious children’s play area is attached to the restaurant and there is secure parking.

There are no scheduled flights departing from Grand Central, however, there are a number of charter companies that offer flights. The airport is also home to quite a few flight schools which sometimes offer introductory flights to youngsters interested in a career in aviation. Most of the aircraft at the airport are privately owned.

Grand Central from the air.

There are two car rental companies in the building and a retail shop, Wings ‘n Things, that sells pilots accessories and paraphernalia. There is also a conference room and boardroom available for functions.

Being situated midway between Pretoria and Johannesburg and next to the Midrand Gautrain station, the airport is ideally located for domestic air traffic. As is the case with a number of airports around the country, Grand Central lost its international status in 1998 when the department of transport changed airport regulations.

However, the airport has been campaigning to be granted Regional International Status which will allow cross border flights to and from Southern African Development Community countries.

For more information about Grand Central Airport visit their website www.grandcentral.co.za

 

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