Cape Town International Airport’s main runway reopened after Angola Airlines incident
Operations have resumed on the main runway after passengers were left stranded.
On Friday 13 October, the main runway at the Cape Town International Airport was reopened after a ‘technical issue’ closed the runway, which impacted both arriving and departing flights. TAAG Angola Airlines whose aircraft caused the closure apologised to passengers and other airlines for the affected airlines.
The runway reopened at 7 am on Friday, confirmed the Airports Company South Africa (ACSA).
The main runway was closed on Thursday just after 2 pm after an aircraft reported a technical issue — leaked hydraulic fluid, confirmed ACSA.
As a result, flights were delayed from the airport. ACSA said the aircraft in question was removed from the main runway, which was followed by a runway inspection. Clean-up operations were underway yesterday while the runway was closed.
Read more in Daily Maverick: Cape Town International Airport runway shut down after hydraulic fluid spill
Despite ACSA saying that the runway would be opened on Thursday, it was only opened on Friday morning.
ACSA confirmed an estimated 600 passengers were affected by the runway closure. Some affected passengers reported being assisted with overnight accommodation at several hotels while others expressed frustration at the lack of communication from airlines.
“Following the removal of the aircraft and an inspection of the runway, ACSA teams started a cleanup operation yesterday afternoon… additional cleaning and degreasing activities were completed overnight on a larger area of the runway than what was contaminated,” said ACSA.
Shaheed Regal, Acting Regional Manager at Cape Town International Airport said, “ACSA is governed by very stringent international safety and environmental standards therefore the cleanup operation was very critical to ACSA as passenger safety is our main priority”.
After ACSA conducted a ‘comprehensive friction assessment’, it was determined all residue was removed. ACSA said travellers were requested to make use of their app or to contact airlines directly for flight updates and information.
Thank you to all those who worked tirelessly to reopen CT International Airport’s main runway yesterday – and just in time for the @CTMarathon. The airport is a lifeline for our economy and I appreciate the hard work that goes into keeping operations there running smoothly. 🙏🛫 https://t.co/RjTCOfgnGr
— Premier Alan Winde 🇿🇦 (@alanwinde) October 13, 2023
Affected airline apologises to passengers and other carriers
TAAG Angola Airlines confirmed their flight DT 579 Luanda-Cape Town experienced a ‘technical event’ on landing. The outbound flight was cancelled while maintenance teams worked to return the aircraft to service.
“TAAG Angola Airlines sincerely apologises to our passengers and other affected airlines for the inconvenience,” said the airline.
Various international flights from among others Ethiopia, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Dubai were diverted to Johannesburg and Durban last night. DM