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Passengers grounded at airport

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MBABANE - Scores of passengers hoping to fly in or out of the Matsapha International Airport were stranded yesterday because no flights could land or take off.

While some people were grounded, others coming into the country were turned back due to faulty equipment and persistent bad weather.

People who were supposed to board the 8am, 11am and 2pm flights destined for OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg found themselves stranded at the airport. The usual aircraft commuting between Matsapha and OR Tambo carries about 37 passengers per trip.

The ‘frustration’ of passengers was mainly caused by faults with the Ntondozi beacon that were discovered yesterday morning.

The beacon is used by flights coming into the country to guide them for landing.

It was also discovered that the facility was receiving too little electricity.

According to Jabu Ngubane, the airport manager, flights had to be cancelled.

"The 8am, 11am and 2pm flights had to be cancelled. The aircraft carrying passengers coming in from South Africa had to be turned back. The same aircraft landing is the one that carries those travelling out of the country," said Ngubane.

Ngubane said safety is of major importance and turning back the aircraft bringing in people from South Africa was the best option.

He said the bad weather that was experienced yesterday did not help the situation, because the clouds were lower than the acceptable safety standard.

"Low clouds are a problem and we found that the clouds were below the minimum standard. We have to maintain safety standards," he emphasised.


Where is the new CAA when such shame happens to the aviation industry this is a big shame to the country just a single beacon could dethrone CAA from the international civil aviation are there people who are not doing their work they must be sent home it cost the airlines thousands to turn flights like that and why is the emphasis on the weather when its a management problem.
Nov 18, 2010, 9:04 AM, bhozongo (bozongo.m@yahoo.co.uk)

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