Adverse weather conditions prevailing over Gauteng in the early hours of this morning have resulted in flight delays at O.R. Tambo International Airport due to ice and snow frozen on the airplanes.
The airport emergency services used fire trucks to hose down the grounded airplanes to expedite the melting process. “There is no safety threat on the runways,” says Bryan Thompson, Assistant General Manager of O.R. Tambo International Airport. “As soon as the ice is removed on from the airplanes they will be scheduled to take off.”
Flights scheduled to depart early this morning out of O.R. Tambo were delayed by up to three hours, whilst arrivals are delayed by up to 15 minutes as they wait for parking bays to free up. However, the situation by noon had eased considerably with delays for departures reduced to around 90 minutes.
“O R Tambo can handle up 56 take-offs and landings per hour, so we worked with ATNS (Air Traffic Navigation Service) to increase the frequency of flights taking off to reduce the congestion at the airport,” says Thompson.
This had a knock-on effect on across all airports, particularly Durban and Cape Town. The management teams are on the floor at all the affected airports in order to deal with individual cases as they arise and are looking at ways of making passengers comfortable under the circumstances.
Passengers are continuously informed and kept abreast of the situation through the airports’ public announcement system.
Passengers are advised to contact the airline they are booked with to ascertain the status of the flights.
For enquiries, contact: Nothemba Noruwana
Airports Company South Africa
Tel: 011 921 6087 / 0835018282