Airspace ready for influx of mourners

2013-12-09 20:49

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Johannesburg - Further measures have been put in place to ensure safe air travel after the death of former president Nelson Mandela, the Air Traffic and Navigation Services (ATNS) and Airports Company SA (Acsa) said on Monday.

ATNS spokesperson Percy Morokane said the plans had been in place since Mandela died on Thursday.

"Potential risks that include among others, adverse weather conditions, have been identified and concomitant mitigating plans formulated," he said.

"ATNS staff have been strategically deployed at identified airports for the provision of day-and-night air traffic management services to match the expected demand."

An ATNS airspace management unit had been set up to co-ordinate slots and air traffic flow management from various airports to the Eastern Cape, where Mandela will be buried on Sunday.

The same had been put in place for his memorial service in Gauteng on Tuesday.

"Diversion alternatives have been identified and will be reviewed on a 24-hourly basis, and as and when the situation dictates," said Morokane.

Acsa said it was implementing plans to help the movement of passengers and aircraft. Spokeswoman Unathi Batyashe-Fillis said normal major event processes had been activated at OR Tambo International Airport and East London Airport.

Some Acsa staff had been sent to Mthatha Airport to help, even though it was not being an Acsa airport.

Military authorisation will be required for all flight operations scheduled for Mthatha Airport in preparation for former President Nelson Mandela’s State Funeral. 

No refuelling

No commercial traffic will be allowed into the airport, except for the existing Airlink schedule and South African Air Force chartered flights. 

They will also not allow any fuel uplifts and all flights have been advised to carry enough fuel for their return legs.

Acsa had enough fuel to death with demand over the next few days, said Batyashe-Fillis.

Acsa's acting operations director Andre Vermeulen said he was confident it would be able to handle Mandela's memorial service and funeral.

"We are confident that we will be able to serve the mourners with dignity and professionalism in this regard," he said.

Temporary infrastructure has been created at East London Airport to handle more than the 2 000 passengers per day that the airport currently facilitates.

Extra staff has also been allocated for the airport to assist in dealing with additional services. 

Read more on:    acsa  |  nelson mandela  |  east london  |  johannesburg  |  air travel

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.