George airport open for business travellers

Posted by Imogen Searra on 17 July 2020

The George Airport is officially open for business travellers under Alert Level 3. In the beginning of June, Western Cape Finance and Economic Opportunities MEC David Maynier called for the airport to reopen. He has celebrated the decision made by Minister of Transport, Fikile Mbalula on Thursday [July 16] to reopen the airport.

In a statement, Maynier said: ‘As a critical transport link for providing access to the Garden Route District for many business travellers across South Africa, this decision provides much-needed support to jobs and the economy in the Western Cape.’

He continued: ‘That is why we have been working hard, together with the Airports Company of South Africa (ACSA), the George Airport management, George Municipality and our provincial Department of Health, to find a solution that will allow the George Airport to meet the criteria required for the airport to open.

‘Thanks to the effort of all involved, the Western Cape Department of Health will partner with ACSA to ensure that Covid-19 screening is conducted at the George Airport.’

George airport open for business travellers

Since the beginning of Alert Level 3 the George Airport management have implemented significant health and safety steps to ensure the readiness of the airport to open during the COVID-19 pandemic. Image credit: Airport Company South Africa

Measures in place to ensure social distancing include:

  • Plexiglass at check-in counters
  • Regular disinfection of key areas such as baggage trollies
  • Reduced staffing, with essential staff working staggered shifts
  • Use of signage and overhead announcements to share information on Covid-19 safety measures

Maynier continued to explain that he is confident George Airport is equipped to welcome back business travellers to the Garden Route.

‘Together with the additional Covid-19 screening measures we have provided, we are confident that George Airport is now ready to welcome business travellers to the Garden Route. The importance of opening the George Airport for the economy of the Garden Route district cannot be understated.’

He explained: ‘Businesses in George and the Greater Knysna region are heavily dependent on business travellers having access via the George airport. The average number of passengers through the George Airport prior to the Covid-19 lockdown was around 55 000 passengers per month, of which approximately 40 per cent were business travellers.

‘For now, and perhaps for some time, flight travel will be different to what we’ve become accustomed to as we implement the necessary safety measures to stop the spread of Covid-19.  There is no doubt that the Covid-19 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,’ Maynier concluded.

The Department of Transport has also announced that East London Airport and Kimberley Airport will resume operations on July 21, 2020.

 






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