Pretoria - As part of the preparations for this year's 2010 FIFA World Cup, Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) is to impose restrictions on hand luggage for domestic flights.
The new airport regulations will come into effect on 20 January 2010 at OR Tambo International Airport and at Cape Town and Durban International Airports on 6 February 2010.
Economy class passengers will be allowed to carry only one bag and a laptop while only two bags and a laptop will be allowed in business and first class.
Compliance with these requirements will be verified at security checkpoints at the airports.
ACSA said an increase in the number of hand luggage was the reason behind the restrictions.
"With passengers now being able to check-in at home or though the self-service kiosks, we have seen a huge increase in hand luggage.
"In many instances the hand luggage cannot fit into the cabin, meaning it has to be manually loaded into the hold of the aircraft, resulting in flight delays," said ACSA spokesperson Solomon Makgale.
He said South Africa could not afford to have flights departing late especially during the World Cup. ACSA and the airlines are of the view that introducing the hand luggage restrictions will significantly improve flight operations.
Makgale said ACSA would make additional resources available to assist the airlines.
"We fully understand that this will require an adjustment in passenger behavior, however, we are confident that passengers will cooperate and give us the necessary support".