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Air Traffic and Navigation Services releases statement on Covid-19

Posted 18 March 2020 · Add Comment

South Africa’s Air Traffic and Navigation Services (ATNS) has said it will be working with the government to support national aviation plans for handling public health emergencies.


A statement said: “Aviation is one of the high-risk sectors which enables high levels of mobility and by extension the spread of the coronavirus.


As an integral part of the interconnected global community, exceptional times such as these are a constant reminder of how important mutual support and team-work is. And that is in any manner possible. 


On Sunday, 15 March 2020, President Cyril Ramaphosa, made far-reaching Covid-19-related pronouncements. Among these was the declaration of the national state of disaster - as an urgent and drastic measure to manage the disease and reduce the impact of the virus on society and economy.


Yesterday, Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula, in the presence of Home Affairs Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi and Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan, as well as Chief Executive Officers from Aviation State-Owned Entities, announced a number of travel restrictions, which will be gazetted soon.


As ATNS, we will be working with government to support national aviation plans for handling public health emergencies. Collaborations and partnership strategies with neighbouring states, airports and airlines are in place - to prepare contingency should staffing levels be hit by the outbreak. Nonetheless, we will continue delivering expeditious and efficient Air Traffic Services (ATS) in order to keep our airspace safe.


In a recently issued media statement, the Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation (CANSO) states “travel bans and border closures put in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19 pandemic have led to a prolonged decrease in air traffic, with no end in sight”. CANSO predicts that this crisis is “having a major impact on air navigation service providers across the globe.”     

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