‘Little emergency back-up’: Airlink suspends Polokwane airport flights

The privately-owned and independent regional airline cites airport non-compliance as a reason.

POLOKWANE – The privately-owned and independent regional airline, Airlink, has suspended their flights to Polokwane with immediate effect.

In a statement, the airline cites airport non-compliance as the reason.

“The South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) advised last night that with immediate effect the Polokwane airport had been de-categorised to CAT2, which is below the minimum level required for scheduled commercial air services. The current status of the airport presents as an operational safety concern and it would be illegal to operate scheduled services at the airport,” their statement notes.

Airlink said it is regrettable that the airport did not advise them of the “impending threat of de-categorisation” and their “inability to provide the minimum level of emergency services required to maintain its aerodrome license category”.

The airline added that they explored other options, including the possibility of operating at the Pietersburg Civil aerodrome.

“The aerodrome also offers no rescue fire fighting services and therefore is unable to accept scheduled commercial flights. Airlink management will work with Polokwane airport management to establish when the airport will address its non-compliances and regain the minimum category required to accommodate scheduled commercial air services,” they explained.

Comment from Gateway Airports Authority Limited (GAAL) and the Transport Department could not immediately be sourced.

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