Cape Town International Airport was opened in 1954, a year after Jan Smuts Airport (now OR Tambo International Airport) on the Witwatersrand opened. The airport replaced Cape Town's previous airport, Wingfield Aerodrome. Originally called D.F. Malan Airport after the then South African prime minister, it initially offered two international flights: a direct flight to Britain and a second flight to Britain via Johannesburg.
With the fall of apartheid in the early 1990s, ownership of the airport was transferred from the state to the newly formed Airports Company South Africa, and the airport was renamed to the politically neutral Cape Town International Airport. The first years of the twenty-first century saw tremendous growth at the airport; from handling 6.2 million passengers per annum in 2004-05, the airport peaked at 8.4 million passengers per annum in 2007-08 before falling back to 7.8 million in 2008-09.
In preparation for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, Cape Town International Airport was extensively expanded and renovated. The main focus was the development of a Central Terminal Building at a cost of R1.6 billion, which linked the formerly separate domestic and international terminals and provided a common check-in area. The departures level of the Central Terminal opened in November 2009, with the entire building opened in April 2010.
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