Resumption of domestic flights will be rolled out in 3 phases, says transport minister
Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula revealed during a media briefing on Saturday that the resumption of domestic flights will be rolled out in three phases.
He also revealed that limited domestic air travel for business purposes will be allowed, subject to restrictions on the number of flights per day and authorisation based on the reason for travel.
He said the availability of port health services will also guide the scheduling of flights.
The three phases roll out will be guided by a few considerations.
These include the Port Health capacity at OR Tambo International, Cape Town International and King Shaka International airports.
The initial period will also serve as a trial period to stress test the system and measures to determine if they are holding up or not.
Lanseria Airport will arrange Port Health Capacity and government to certify it before any operation of flights.
"We will further engage with the industry stakeholders on the contributions that are necessary for Port Health capacity in the operations of phases 2 and 3 of the roll-out," Mbalula revealed.
Guided by these considerations, these commercial aircraft movement will be allowed from these airports during each phase:
• OR Tambo International Airport
• Cape Town International Airport
• King Shaka International Airport, and
• Lanseria International Airport
• Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport
• Polokwane International Airport
• Bram Fischer Airport
• Kimberley Airport
• Upington Airport
• East London Airport
• Umtata Airport
• Port Elizabeth Airport
Mbalula said guidelines to prevent the spread of the virus in civil aviation activities have been developed by the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) and will be implemented by the industry, with SACAA playing an oversight role.
"We have evaluated the plans in full and considered the non-pharmaceutical interventions as well as mitigation strategies to be implemented by all airlines operating in our domestic markets and are confident that they will assist in the containment of the spread of the virus.
"We have also assessed the measures being rolled out globally in the airline industry and benchmarked against these when an assessment was done by the Department of Transport on the state of readiness related to the aviation industry, " he added.