Confed airspace to be restricted

2009-05-28 07:44

Johannesburg - Airspace restrictions during the Confederations Cup may affect the aviation industry's day-to-day operations, the Civil Aviation Authority said on Wednesday.

It was expecting higher-than-usual air traffic volumes during the Confederations Cup, which begins on June 14.

"As would be expected leading up to and during the Confederations Cup, much of the transportation of supporters, players and officials will be by air, and this mode of travel will also feature prominently in many other activities in and around the host cities," the authority's CEO Colin Jordaan told a press briefing in Midrand.

"... the SACAA, with the collaboration of the department of transport, ATNS (Air Traffic and Navigation Services Company), SA Police Services and the SA Air Force needs to ensure that air safety and security measures are in place and are properly co-ordinated.

Restricted airspace areas

"Unfortunately one of those measures involves airspace restrictions around host cities, prior to, during and after each game."

Jordaan said a supplement had been issued which outlined restricted airspace areas.

"This measure will affect areas and airports situated closer to the stadia in the various host cities," Jordaan said.

These airports included OR Tambo International, Lanseria, Rand, Grand Central in the Johannesburg area as well as Bloemfontein and Pilanesberg.

A temporary airspace restriction would be placed on an 80km radius around OR Tambo International, Bloemfontein and Rustenburg airports from midnight on June 13 to midnight on June 28. No restrictions would be placed on Durban and Cape Town airports as no games would be played in these cities.

The airspace around all stadiums would further be restricted for a radius of eight kilometres from two hours before a game until an hour after the final whistle.

The Air Force said a vetting and authorisation office would be manned 24 hours a day, from June 10 to June 28.

Few flights will be prohibited

Charles Norval of ATNS said: "This is not about spoiling anybody's fun. Very few of any (flight) operations will be prohibited. There will be a set of procedures in place [according to] which things will need to be done."

He said while the rules were strict, they were supposed to be, as safety was of the utmost importance during the event.

Jordaan said the CAA expected an increase in non-scheduled chartered operations during the event, but not in general aviation traffic involving small, private aircraft.

There would be no additional security restrictions on any passengers flying on scheduled flights, as the current security measures in place at airports were adequate, he added.