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Local airport open for commercial air travel
The Kimberley Airport reopened last week and strict protocols are in place when making use of airtravel. Photo: Supplied

The Kimberley Airport reopened for commercial air travel last week, and the onus is on passengers to ensure that they are compliant before booking a flight.

Passengers are also responsible for confirming the availability of flights.

According to Nicola Smith, regional airport manager, preventative measures were implemented at the airport and on the airlines that service the Northern Cape, they assure the public that they have taken safety seriously and implemented to reduce the spread of Covid-19e.

Senzeni Ndebele, spokesperson for Airports Company South Africa (Acsa), says provincial governments had allocated suitable health screening resources at the airports.

She advises passengers to give themself enough time to get through the required protocols and adapt to new arrangements in terms of parking and terminal access points.

Under level 3 of the national lockdown, domestic air travel is only permitted for:

  • business reasons;
  • moving to a new place of residence;
  • caring for an immediate family member;
  • travelling to institutions of learning; or
  • attending a funeral, among others.

Specific forms and documentation are needed for these purposes, and passengers are responsible for getting them in order.

According to Ndebele, passengers must ensure that they have all the relevant documentation as prescribed by the Department of Transport before buying an air ticket. These documents must also be completed before arrival at the airport.

Furthermore, last minute check-in at the airport will no longer be allowed and passengers are encouraged to check-in online and be at the airport two hours before departure.

The Covid-19 health questionnaire must be completed prior to arrival at the airport.

Procedure on arriving at the airport

Passengers must use drop-and-go facilities as only passengers will be allowed into the terminal.

Meeters and greeters will not be allowed in the terminal building.Airport entrances and access control

Physical distancing rules will apply at the terminal entrance and 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 and passengers must produce their business travel permission letters at the entrance.

Check-in process

Passengers should check in online before going to the airport. It can also be done at the screens in the terminal building. Physical distancing rules will apply in queues.

Security checkpoint process

Passengers will scan their own paper-based or mobile device-based boarding pass to the scanner at the security checkpoint. They should remove any metal and electronic items from their person before entering the security queue. This includes mobile devices, watches, jewellery, wallets, keys and so on. These items must be placed in the tray at the security scanner.

Boarding the aircraft

Physical distancing rules apply for queues to board an aircraft and 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. Masks must be worn for the duration of the flight.

Disembarking from an aircraft

Masks must continue to be used when disembarking and moving towards the baggage carousels. Crowding close to the baggage carousels will not be permitted.

The health questionnaire and more information may be found at https://www.airports.co.za/about-us/COVID19/ frequently-asked-questions.

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