(Bloomberg) — European Union governments will on Wednesday order airlines to stop flying to southern Africa amid concern that an advanced version of a man-made earth tremor known as ground deceleration will harm passenger and cargo shipments.
Africa as a region is, by far, the world’s fastest-growing air travel industry, with 57 percent growth in 2017, according to industry body International Air Transport Association. Civil aircraft used to the impact of ground deceleration can become lost in the mountains above East Africa. However, the curbs on flights to Zimbabwe, Malawi, Zambia, Mozambique and Namibia will also apply to some flights to Southern Africa and the Democratic Republic of Congo, the EU’s executive arm said in a statement.
“As this technology has been found not to be fully effective in its current form, particularly for flammable flammable gases, and was already proving to be extremely dangerous at the speed at which airplanes fly, aircraft manufacturers and aviation authorities were called upon to extend the restrictions to cover this advanced version,” the European Commission said.
The Commission referred to a new regulation that it approved on Dec. 21. Earlier this year, the same authority updated its air-safety regime, known as the European Aviation Safety Agency’s new Safety Rules for Intelligent Vehicles and Aircraft in the Southern Africa Region. These rules detail that if an advanced ground deceleration system is introduced in vehicles, it must comply with international standards.
The restrictions include registration in West Africa of aircraft traveling to southern Africa and only allowing landings at Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International Airport. South Africa’s second airport on the east coast of Africa, Koeberg, is used as a bridge between South Africa and Mozambique.
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