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SANDF Uses Oudtshoorn for Its Ideal Topography

Oudtshoorn, 23 March 2022The South African Defense Force (SANDF) used Oudtshoorn as an operation camp for 40 soldiers last week that included flight training at night for a CASA C212 Aviocar medium cargo aircraft on a 2-hour circuit training per night. 

This training camp will be a yearly occurrence as Oudtshoorn is ideal with its great topography for air space training purposes for its land areas and mountains. The military arranges their flying schedule well in advance and also file a Flexible use of airspace (FUA).  They do not need permission to fly at night and are exempted from civilian aircraft restrictions. 

The South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA ATS) Standards and Procedure manual Section 2 Chapter 4, states that it is recognised that some military aeronautical operations necessitate non-compliance with certain air traffic procedures. To ensure the safety of flight operations the SANDF shall be asked, whenever practicable, to notify the proper air traffic control unit before undertaking such manoeuvres. There is no published noise abatement procedure for FAOH.  FAOH stands for the designated airport in Oudtshoorn.

The Executive Mayor of the Greater Oudtshoorn, Cllr Chad Louw, said that this is a positive economic injection for Oudtshoorn and that “we should remember that the military is doing this training for our safety at the end of the day. We can see it as an achievement for Oudtshoorn that our town is being chosen for such training. This is also in line with the towns Vision 2030, to position the airport as a fully functional facility, with training as key sector of the town’s economic strategy.”

“I want to urge the public to please refrain from shining lasers and torchlight at the aircrafts as this puts the pilot’s life in danger. This is a serious concern as anyone who is caught can be charged with murder, get a jail sentence of 10 years and pay a fine of R100 000” mayor Louw requested with great concern after complaints from the training facilitators.

The military wants to thank everyone in Oudtshoorn for the patience and friendliness that they felt the entire time they stayed here.