Airspace to be tightened over Cup stadiums

Posted On Thursday, 28 May 2009 02:00 Published by eProp Commercial Property News
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SA’s aviation industry was ready for the influx of fans expected ahead of next month’s Confederations Cup, Colin Jordaan.

Infrastructure IndustrySA’s aviation industry was ready for the influx of fans expected ahead of next month’s Confederations Cup, Colin Jordaan, CEO of the Civil Aviation Authority, said yesterday.

However, tighter control of airspace around airports in host cities Johannesburg, Rustenburg and Bloemfontein are to be put in place to ensure the safety of the event as well as of all aircraft.

The increase in traffic has scheduled aviation sector.

Charles Norval, senior manager overseeing airspace efficiency at Air Traffic and Navigation Service (ATNS), said while the agency expected a huge increase in air traffic, it was not clear what sort of numbers would arrive in SA next month. “Nevertheless, we have put measures in place to cope with the increase and are confident that there will be no hiccups,” he said.

Johannesburg’s airspace is the busiest in SA, with four airports — Lanseria, OR Tambo International, Rand Airport and Grand Central — in close proximity to each other and therefore requires stricter control to ensure safety.

The measures, to be implemented by the South African Air Force (SAAF) in co-ordination with the Civil Aviation Authority, the Department of Transport, the South African Police Service and ATNS, require everyone flying inside the restricted airspace to obtain prior authorisation from the SAAF, upon which an authorisation number will be issued for each flight. The regulations also require all aircraft flying in the restricted airspace to carry a transponder, a piece of on board equipment which allows air traffic control to track the flight on radar using a unique code.

The controls will apply from June 13 to 28 and will affect an 80km radius around key navigational beacons in each city, covering both stadiums and airports. There will also be a complete flyover ban over stadiums from two hours before kickoff to an hour after the final whistle on match days.

The SAAF will also deploy

“While pilots will have to seek authorisation two days before their flights, they will immediately be given permission to fly until otherwise instructed. We will also allow flexibility, particularly for mercy or emergency flights.”

Emergency and other vital operations have been given blanket approval and provided with their own unique transponder code, allowing ATNS and the SAAF to track their movements.

The SAAF has long been preparing for the Confederations Cup and next year’s World Cup, with simulations of the restrictions in many of the host cities, including an exercise in March over Gauteng. “Of the 7000 flights that took place over the period, we only received three complaints. Therefore we are confident that there will be little disruption,” said Lombard.

He also assured the public that the SAAF was prepared to deal with any rogue flights, from the smallest microlight aircraft to the largest airliner.


Last modified on Thursday, 31 October 2013 17:30

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