SAAF to enforce “state authority” on northern borderline

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The South African National Defence Force is conducting an air border safeguarding operation  in the Northern parts of the Limpopo Province from next Tuesday to February 23 “to enhance and enforce the authority of the state in the South African airspace domain.”

The SANDF warns any aircraft entering this promulgated airspace without a valid Flight Authorisation Code issued by the Air Force, or a valid clearance, or that is observed deviating from the filed flight plan/negotiated route without prior clearance, may be subject to interception and may be subject to prosecution. “Effective cooperation will ensure a secure airspace without negatively impacting on the aviation sector,” the military adds.

The SANDF says an “AIRAC AIP supplement SOO2/11 dd 10 February 2011 was issued for [the] Johannesburg (FAJA) Flight Information Region to temporary restrict airspace as part of the SANDF border safeguarding operation in the Northern Limpopo. The AIRAC effective date is February 10.” A temporary restricted airspace will be declared and the following procedures must be applied by all aircraft:

Lateral Limits: From a point S230000 E0275649 extending along the national border of the Republic of South Africa with Botswana, Zimbabwe and Mozambique to the point S230000 E0312947 and thereafter along the straight line back to the starting point S230000 E0275649. This temporary restricted airspace excludes the FALM TMA but includes the sections of FAR71, FAR78, FAR178, FAD122A and FAD122B that reside within this airspace.

Vertical limits: GND to UNL. Normal published procedures to enter the airspaces mentioned above are to be complied with. In addition all flights, inclusive of scheduled flights flying into, exiting or operating with this Temporary Restricted Airspace must apply to the SAAF for Flight Authorisation. No flights will be allowed to operate within or through this Temporary Restricted Airspace without a valid SAAF Flight Authorisation Code (FAC) for that specific flight. The FAC application process is described below.
“All flights operating within the lateral boundaries of this Temporary Restricted Airspace from GND to unlimited, inclusive of all promulgated airspace are to submit an ATS flight plan. The FAC for each flight must be indicated on the flight plan in Field 18, e.g. RMK/FAC…,” the military says in a statement.
“Prior to entering the lateral boundaries of this Temporary Restricted Airspace from GND to unlimited, inclusive of all promulgated airspace, pilots are to contact either Johannesburg Area North, Johannesburg Area North East, Control, Johannesburg Info North or Lowveld Flight Information Service on the appropriate frequency to activate the flight plan, where after promulgated communication procedures are to be followed. Low flying aircraft may be interrogated at any time by military control on 124.8 MHz to enquire for valid FAC and aircrew must be able to provide it in flight.
“Exceptions will be made for flights operating under special circumstances by prior arrangement only. This Temporary Restricted Airspace is valid from 2200 on 16 February until 2200 on 23 February 2011.

Applications for FAC must be submitted to the SAAF at least 24 hours prior to entering the Temporary Restricted Airspace for the first time. Applications may be submitted to the SAAF as from 03 January 2011 at the following telephone, fax or e-mail:

Applications must include the following information:

  • Pilot ID Number (passport number also acceptable)
  • Pilot Full Names and Surname
  • Pilot License Number
  • Pilot Contact details, including at least one telephone number and/or an e-mail address.
  • Aircraft registration and type
  • Date and estimated time of flight
  • Aerodrome of Departure
  • Aerodrome of Destination
  • Intended duration of flight and intended route
  • Aircraft owner and aircraft owner contact details

Colonel Lucas Delport, Senior Staff Officer Planning on the Joint-5 (Long Term Planning) staff of the Joint Operations Division told a media briefing last August the SA Air Force and SA Army would be using assets ad hoc to conduct surveillance of the air dimension, to compile an air picture and to intercept transgressors along the lines of the air space control concept developed for Operation Kgwele, the safeguarding of the soccer World Cup. He added deployments would be mobile and intelligence-driven.

For more on this subject, consider attending defenceWeb‘s Border Control conference at Gallagher Estate on March 8 and 9, 2010. For more information contact Maggie Pienaar at ++27 11 807 3294 or [email protected]

Detailed programme available here.



Pic: Two Gripen intercepting a C130, April 2009.