Your domestic air travel checklist in lockdown level 3

CAPE TOWN- After 10 weeks of the ban on commercial flights in South Africa due to the national lockdown there will now be limited domestic air travel for business purposes in alert level 3.

On Friday the first domestic commercial flight took off from OR Tambo International Airport.

Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula visited Lanseria International Airport on Saturday to inspect the airport’s adherence to lockdown regulations and directions.

The resumption of domestic flights will be rolled out in three phases and will be subject to restrictions on the number of flights per day and authorisation based on the reason for travel.

Phase 1 

  • OR Tambo International Airport
  • Cape Town International Airport
  • King Shaka International Airport
  • Lanseria International Airport

Phase 2

  • Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport
  • Polokwane International Airport
  • Bram Fischer Airport

Phase 3

  • Kimberley Airport
  • Upington Airport
  • East London Airport
  • Umtata Airport
  • Port Elizabeth Airport

Mbalula said that once the limited domestic flights take to the skies at the four airports, the department will immediately begin work to move to Phase 2 of our 3-phase process to re-open the airspace for domestic travel.

Arriving at an airport

  • The wearing of masks is compulsory at all times.
  • It is advised for passengers to check-in online before going to the airport, as a limited number of check-in counters will be open.
  • Temperature screening will be conducted at terminal building entrances.
  • Passengers must present their business travel permit letters at the entrance.
  • Passengers must use the drop-and-go facility or make use of public transport because only passengers will be allowed to wait in the terminal.
  • Friends or family will not be permitted in the terminal building to meet or greet the passengers.
  • Baggage wrapping is now compulsory for all check-in luggage for hygiene reasons.
  • All the airports will have markings on the floors and seats for social distancing of 1.5 metres. This will be applicable at check-in counters, security checkpoints and airport lounges.
  • If there is medical issue with one of the passengers, they will be taken to an isolation room.

Boarding the aircraft

  • There will be a contactless check-in for passengers as they will scan their own printed pass or boarding pass on their mobiles at the security checkpoint.
  • Any metal or electronic items should be removed before entering the security queue, which will then placed in the tray at the security scanner.
  • All airport staff members have been issued with the necessary personal protective equipment (PPE) and have undergone training on Covid-19.
  • At boarding gates, boarding will be staggered and prioritized in terms of the number of passengers to board. Sectional boarding will be implemented to avoid unnecessary contact inside the aircraft.

In the air

  • Mbalula said that full passenger capacity will be permitted inside the cabin.
  • Domestic commercial aircrafts are fitted with High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters.
  • There will be no catering during the flight and no magazines on board.
  • ​The last row will be reserved for isolation of suspected cases.
  • All aircrafts will be disinfected before entering into service and after each flight.

Disembarking

  • Passengers are to continue wearing masks when disembarking and moving towards the baggage carousels.
  • Physical distancing rules will apply at the baggage carousels and exiting the airport.
  • Loading capacity for all airport buses are limited to 70%.
  • Drivers, baggage handlers and ground handlers must be fully equipped with appropriate PPE.

Mbalula said that after Saturday’s evaluation, Lanseria International Airport is fully compliant the department’s Covid-19 requirements.

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