Minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities, David Maynier and City of Cape Town’s Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Opportunities and Asset Management, Alderman James Vos, visited Cape Town International Airport (CTIA) yesterday (10 June) to assess the steps taken by airport management to re-open the airport and ensure the safety of those working at the airport, as well as the business professionals travelling on the flights that have resumed this week.
With the country's shift down to Alert Level 3 on the 1st of June, business travellers were once again able to take to the skies, provided that everyone adheres to the critical safety measures put in place to stop the spread of Covid-19 while travelling.
A tour of the airport highlighting the important steps taken to ensure operational readiness was led by CTIA General Manager, Deon Cloete. During the tour, it was particularly highlighted that the security points are traditionally high touchpoints, and with this in mind, to protect passengers and airport staff, there is a concerted drive to limit contact with the passenger. As a result, passengers are requested to:
- Scan their own boarding passes
- Place all of their loose items in their hand luggage
- Re-enter the queue should they trigger the metal detector
- Only laptops will be allowed in trays
Minister David Maynier, thanked CTIA management for their efforts to ensure operational readiness: “It is great to know that CTIA is ready to welcome businesses travellers to Cape Town and the Western Cape. For now, and perhaps for some time, flight travel will be different to what we’ve become accustomed to as we implement safety measures to stop the spread of Covid-19. There is no doubt that the pandemic will have a severe impact on businesses and the jobs, and so it is critical that where we can continue open the economy safely, even in a limited way, everyone sticks to the rules so that we can save businesses and save jobs in the Western Cape.”
Alderman James Vos said, “Today's visit solidifies the confidence we have in the CTIA team to ensure that travellers arrive at their destinations safely. As a City, we are ready to continue our partnership with CTIA to position Cape Town, as a destination of choice when all forms of travel is allowed to resume.
I was impressed with their presentations demonstrating the readiness of the airport and can confidently say Cape Town is ready to welcome visitors to Mothers City. The City's Enterprise and Investment Department, together with our official Destination Marketing Organisation, Cape Town Tourism, developed plans to secure a sustainable future for the tourism sector.
The aviation economy is a crucial driver of growth in Cape Town's economic recovery plan as connectivity forms part of my departmental strategy to connect Cape Town with key destinations in Africa and globally. Central to these plans is our world-class airport to bring back our tourists and to take our local goods across the world.
There is no doubt that the effect of the pandemic will fundamentally alter the aviation landscape and require new business models to restore confidence in airlines as well as the aviation sector's financial viability.”
Deon Cloete said, "As part of the easing of restrictions, Cape Town International Airport will play an important role in re-building the travel and tourism economy. It will take a huge effort from everyone, on and off-airport to get things going. We recognise the importance of regaining passenger trust by protecting their health and wellness, and that of our staff and all visitors to the airport. We are going to be relying on passengers to comply and to support the new rules.
While limited air travel will be permitted, with restrictions on the number of flights per day the increase in economic activity in sectors that are permitted to resume operations is welcomed. At this stage, no scheduled international commercial flights will be processed, however, we will continue to process international repatriation flights. While we do not anticipate large volumes at this stage, an easy start up allows us to test our new ways of working."
For those wanting to travel for business, it is important that you have the necessary permission to travel, before even buying a ticket. Business travellers will need to carry a letter on company letterhead, signed by a manager, as well as a completed employer permit form. Any traveller who fails to produce the required documents will not be permitted to fly.
Travellers should also arrive at airports at least two hours in advance to familiarise themselves with the new safety procedures, for example at some airports access points and terminal entrance points may be reduced. Health and safety measures such as temperature screening may also impact on check-in and boarding time. And of course, a mask must be worn at all times.