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FIFA WM 2010, FIFA WM 2010 Infos für Fans,...

06. April 2009

Plans to Ease 2010 Congestion

Thousands of European fans travelling to the Fifa World Cup in 2010 will disembark at OR Tambo Airport as part of a plan that will see specific nationalities directed to "hub" airports around the country to ease congestion during the event. This was according to Transport Minister Jeff Radebe, speaking to business people at the Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre in Durban on Friday.

"We have a three-hub air transport system for the World Cup. Johannesburg is the main hub and will receive most of its visitors from Europe. Fans from the Americas will be directed into Cape Town, and Middle East and Asian visitors will fly directly into Durban."

Mr Radebe said the split was aimed at easing congestion and making sure all infrastructure was well used.

"This is part of a very scientific travel demand model. We have split spectators from different countries into the mode of transport they will need. We know what they will be using to travel right down to specific matches."

This would form part of the information on some of the spectators' tickets. Airports Company of South Africa's (Acsa) Bongani Maseko said on Sunday the deadlines for the completion of Durban new airport at La Mercy were "tight".

Specialists who had been responsible for the transfer of the Munich airport in Germany had been contracted to assist Acsa with the move. "We have employed them to make sure everything is in place. The move from Durban International to La Mercy will take place overnight."

Mr Maseko said the old airport would be used as a parking area for aircraft during the 2010 World Cup. "Once the event is over, we will discuss with the city what will be the best use for the land," he said.

With over 32 000 fans expected to arrive by air to attend the 26 June 2010 semi-final in Durban, Mr Maseko said he was concerned about aircraft capacity.

"The number of scheduled seats a day for Durban are 8 000. We are making representations to airlines to make sure we have sufficient capacity for the event."

Mr Maseko said it was more difficult getting passengers out of the province after a game than getting them in.

"To this end, we are negotiating with airlines that passengers arriving at the airport will be dealt with on a first-come, first-served basis. They will be able to board the first plane that is waiting, whether it is Mango, 1Time, Kulula.com or whatever. In this way, we will be able to move people quickly and efficiently, rather than have them sitting around waiting to board specific airlines.

"Another plan for the Fifa delegates, VIPs and football teams is to check them in at the stadium. They will then travel on buses to the airport and board their flights."

Mr Maseko added the company was in discussions with the eThekwini Municipality over how Acsa could assist its staff, who live close to Durban's current airport, to make the move to La Mercy.

"But I am not losing any sleep over it. The contractual deadline for the airport is April 2010 and the operational date 1 May 2010. We will be ready and we are making sure the transfer from the existing airport to the new facility is seamless," said Mr Maseko.

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