Johannesburg - The South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) has announced that air space around the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup venues will be restricted for security reasons.
According to SACAA Chief Executive Officer Captain Colin Jordaan all aircraft flying within an 80km radius in the four host cities, namely Bloemfontein, Pretoria, Johannesburg and Rustenburg, will require prior approval before taking to the skies.
These restrictions would apply from midnight on 13 June to midnight on 28 June at the end of the tournament.
An 8km restriction would also be imposed around the stadia. "No unauthorised pilots will be allowed to fly over the venues two hours before the start of each game and one hour after the final whistle," said Captain Jordaan.
He noted that these restrictions would not affect essential services such as emergency helicopters flying patients to hospitals.
Captain Jordaan said that while passenger traffic was expected to increase dramatically, leading up and during the event as soccer fans and players arrive in the country, chartered flights were expected to be minimal.
He said notices, spelling out what was required of them before flying, had been issued to pilots and officials would be stationed at all airfields to assist and process pilots needing authorisation to take to the air.
Meanwhile, Captain Jordaan said the aviation authority was expecting an estimated 400 000 spectators for the upcoming 2010 World Cup.
"This means there will be major challenges as far as aviation is concerned because there will be 20 co-coordinated airports - something which is not there for this tournament."