More airports to reopen nationally as restrictions are eased on domestic travel
THE UPINGTON International Airport is one of seven airports that will reopen on July 1. However, there is no word yet on the reopening of the Kimberley Airport.
The Minister of Transport, Fikile Mbalula, said on Monday that in addition to the original four airports that are currently operating, the following domestic airports will reopen from July 1: Bram Fischer International Airport, Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport, Pietermaritzburg Airport, Port Elizabeth International Airport, Richards Bay Airport, Skukuza Airport and Upington International Airport.
The four airports that are already operating for domestic passenger travel are OR Tambo, King Shaka, Cape Town and Lanseria international airports.
The opening of the airports is for business and other essential travel.
It has been three weeks since the first airlines gradually took to the skies.
“It was critical for us to test the efficiency and impact of the guidelines we issued against the health and safety of the passengers and aviation personnel operating in this space and we are pleased with the progress we have observed to date. Like any other area, we are making continuous improvement in areas where we observed challenges in consultation with the Department of Health representatives, specifically Port Health,” Mbalula said.
He stated that as more airports were opened, the number of passengers would increase. “Measures have been put in place to ensure that congestion, especially at security checkpoints, is avoided. Whilst this is working perfectly at the airports currently, it will need to be managed properly as we open for more activity.”
Mbalula added that provision had been made for the carrying of sanitisers, which are classified as dangerous goods.
“For the efficient facilitation of passengers at the airports, the operators have urged the flying community to arrive at least two hours early to allow for sufficient time to process passengers at the airports whilst adhering to the screening requirements.”
Airlines are also permitted now to provide pre-packed meals that must be placed in front of the seat for each passenger before the passenger boards the aircraft. “This will allow for minimised movement during flight.”
From July 1, the following aerial work will be permitted: agricultural spraying, seeding and dusting; cloud spraying, culling; construction; aerial harvesting; aerial patrol, observation and survey; aerial advertisement, including banner towing and other towing of objects; search and rescue; parachuting; aerial recording by photographic or electronic means; fire spotting, control and fighting; and spraying, seeding or dusting other than for agricultural purposes and clouds.