A task team had been established to identify aerodromes and small airports, many of which are not Airports Company South Africa-owned, that could be upgraded for potential use during 2010, aviation adviser Bernard Buys said on Monday.

He estimated that there were some 50 aerodromes and airports in the vicinity of stadiums to be used for the World Cup.

Buys noted that certain aerodromes and airports had been identified and were in the process of being rectified and upgraded in order to comply with the necessary safety standards.

He added that these locations could potentially be used to cater for incoming air traffic in the case of an emergency whereby a larger airport was not able to receive aircraft.

Buys commented that if the aerodromes and airports meet the required level of compliance they will also be able to benefit from the tourism that is expected to arise as a spin-off of foreigners visiting South Africa for the sporting event.

However, he stressed that rescue and firefighting services had to be in place if an aerodrome or airport was to be considered for use during the period.

“There are examples where independent airports have gone through the process of compliance and are now attracting chartered flights and tourists which provide a great boost to the areas in question. In addition to the benefits to the area within the actual airport or aerodrome environment, relationships can be built with add-on service providers such as car rental companies, tour operators and others,” Buys explained in a statement issued in the run-up to the South Africa Air Transport conference.

The conference will be held on November 1 and November 2 and is sponsored by financial services provider Standard Bank. It will have two focus areas, aerodromes and airports, and airlines and operators.

PUBLICATION: Engineering News
AUTHOR: Olivia Spadavecchia
DATED: 17th September 2007