East London, George and Kimberley airports set to reopen from 21 July

The airports have met the requirements set by SCAA to open for business travel.

Transport minister Fikile Mbalula has announced that the airports serving East London, George and Kimberley have met the requirements of the SA Civil Aviation Authority and will be able to open for business travel from 21 July. 

Airports Company South Africa spokesperson Senzeni Ndebele said that reconnecting regional centres through air links is an essential element of reigniting local economies. 

Senzeni said that the three airports are fully prepared and looking forward to contributing to re-building economic activity in their respective regions, adding that the managers and staff have already implemented required physical measures and training to ensure that they can reopen quickly. 

She advised that business travellers should check with the airlines for available flights. “Our experience of the past several weeks is that airlines will not necessarily commence with flights on the first day that airports are officially open again. Business passengers needing to travel to and from these centres should monitor the airline websites for flight availability.” 

She also advised that passengers give themselves enough time to get through the required protocols and procedures, which include:

  • Passengers must use drop-and-go facilities or public transport as limited parkade options will be available. 
  • Only passengers will be allowed into the terminal building. 
  • Physical distancing rules will apply at the terminal entrance. 
  • Masks are compulsory from entry to the airport all the way through a flight and out of the destination airport.
  • Health screening of all passengers and staff will be conducted at entrances. 
  • Passengers must produce their business travel permission letters at the entrance.
  • Passengers should check in online before going to the airport. This can also be done at the limited check-in counters in the terminal building.
  • Passengers will scan their own paper-based or mobile device-based boarding pass to the scanner at the security checkpoint. 
  • Passengers should remove any metal and electronic items from their person before entering the security queue and place them in a tray at the security scanner. This process will minimise the need for security officers to do physical pat downs at the checkpoint.
  • Passengers must scan their own boarding pass at the boarding gate. 
  • Boarding will be done in a controlled manner with passengers travelling in the rear seats of the aircraft boarding first. Passengers with tickets for Row A, for example, will board last.
  • Crowding close to the baggage carousels will not be permitted.