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Stadium flight ban 'for safety'

2010-06-17 14:14
Johannesburg - Airspace over World Cup stadiums had been closed to make the tournament safer, the SA Civil Aviation Authority (Sacaa) says.

This comes after the Aircraft Owners' and Pilots' Association (AOPA) indicated that it intended filing a lawsuit to overturn the ban.

The restriction had to be viewed in terms of its objective, which was "solely to enhance and assist in safeguarding national security," Sacaa said.

"As with any other democratic situation, there will always be a group of people that may hold a different view to that of the majority..."

National security

Sacaa appealed to the aviation community to make the sacrifice "in the interest of national security".

AOPA spokesperson Koos Marais reportedly said the flying community conducted exercises with the police and reached agreements on flight restrictions near World Cup stadiums in the run up to the tournament.

They agreed to a five nautical mile no-fly zone around the stadiums when a match was on.

However, the day before the World Cup started, they were informed this had been increased to 30 and 50 nautical miles, depending on the stadium, Marais said, adding that this was up to 96km around a stadium.

As a result, many small operators were making losses on training courses.

Read more on: security air travel

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