Heavy Business Jet Traffic Expected for World Cup

Tuesday, April 20, 2010 - 4:00am

Africa's first World Cup soccer tourament, set for June 11 to July 11 in South Africa, is expected to attract heavy traffic from business and private jets. Flight-planning specialists are urging operators to plan immediately to arrange landing and takeoff slots and aircraft parking, particularly in light of South Africa's rather limited infrastructure. A key player in such arrangements is ExecuJet Aviation, which has FBOs at Capetown International and at Lanseria International Airport (in photo), near Johannesburg. ExecuJet has prebooked approximately 16,000 provisional slots for the tournament period, but these must be allocated to specific tail numbers through the South African Air Force and pilots must be security screened before their operators can even apply for a slot. Airport parking is likely to be limited at most airports serving the World Cup, with some likely to have a drop-and-go policy requiring operators to relocate aircraft as soon as passengers have disembarked.

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“When you get into the larger aircraft it becomes like a hotel, with dozens of staff supporting the plane based in a galley area down below. You have very comprehensive cooking facilities, and on larger aircraft we have looked at theatres, with spiral staircases and a Steinway grand piano. The limitations for what you can put inside a plane are pretty much the limits of physics, and even money cannot always overcome that. Even so, people are still always trying to push [the limits]. ”

-Howard Guy of Design Q, a UK-based consultancy