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Acsa 'will tow private planes'

2010-07-08 14:09
Durban - Private aircraft will be towed out of the way if their pilots refused to move them at OR Tambo International Airport during the final World Cup game, the Airports Company South Africa (Acsa) said on Thursday.

Many soccer fans missed the semi-final in Durban on Wednesday night when there was aircraft parking chaos at King Shaka International Airport.

"We are going to be more forceful on Sunday. If aircraft refuse to move we will tow them away," said Acsa operations manager Themba Maseko.

He said that on Wednesday the pilots of private aircraft, many carrying VIPs, refused to adhere to the set procedure of dropping off their passengers at King Shaka International Airport before moving to the old Durban International Airport to park.

"The procedure was going very well throughout the day.... It was only late when aircraft refused to reposition," Maseko said.

250 flights

He said that on a normal day, about 100 aircraft flew in to King Shaka airport. On Wednesday, there were about 250.

On Wednesday night five plane-loads of football fans were delayed before the game between Germany and Spain. Four of the planes were from Johannesburg and one was from Cape Town.

"I am not blaming the VIPs. The people who caused the problem were the people flying the aircraft," said Maseko.

He said the pilots had started moving their aircraft when Acsa threatened to take action against them, but by then it was too late.

On Sunday Spain plays the Netherlands in the World Cup final at Soccer City, in Johannesburg.

Maseko said there were lots of places for aircraft to park in the area and the same problem should not be experienced.

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