/ 14 June 2010

Lanseria reopens after emergency landing

Lanseria airport has reopened after the wreckage of a plane which had to belly land was removed from its runway on Sunday.

“Things are very rapidly returning back to normal”, said Johan Opperman, marketing and public relations manager for Lanseria airport.

Investigation continues
South African Civil Aviation Authority spokesperson Kabelo Ledwaba said the investigation into the cause of the emergency landing would continue off-site.

The Metroliner twin turboprop airplane was removed from the main runway after the belly landing around 11am. Nobody was hurt, said Opperman.

“[The plane] took off with 13 passengers and two crew on the way to Polokwane. After take-off they realised there were problems with the undercarriage. They decided to return to Lanseria.”

Ferrying journalists
Opperman said they got “emergency technical advice” on how best to do this.

Executive Director of Al-Jazeera for Southern Africa, Thembisa Fakude said the majority of people on the plane were Al-Jazeera journalists.

“They are all fine.”

He said some of the journalists who had alternative transportation went on to cover the Polokwane Soccer World Cup match between Algeria and Slovenia as originally intended.

South Africa’s transport minister Sibusiso Ndebele has commended the crew of the airplane and the emergency services at the airport for their role in ensuring the emergency landing was safe.

“We want to commend the Captain and crew of the Metroliner, as well as the emergency services and all other stakeholders, for their role in ensuring a safe emergency landing at Lanseria Airport earlier today,” Ndebele said. — Sapa