Allow airlines in South Africa to fly during level 4 lockdown, under strict conditions.

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Commercial aviation in South Africa needs to return to the skies as soon as possible. With the COVID-19 pandemic, local airlines have been grounded for an extended period of time. This grounding has caused havoc in the industry with thousands of employees all over the industry likely to lose their jobs. 

The spread of COVID-19 can be mitigated by various recommendations suggested by IATA (The International Air Transport Association). Air travel is much more regulated than public transport which allows strict health protocols to be adhered to at all times. 

There are various sectors in the economy that rely on air transport at this very moment. Having no air transport available for the foreseeable future hampers the entire economic recovery process.  

With cases of COVID-19 in all metropolitan areas in the country, the spread is inevitable. The risks can be efficiently managed with strict health protocols, as recommended by IATA and as is happening in other countries across the globe. 

Requiring all passengers and crew to wear masks, decontaminating aircraft after flights, social distancing,  etc, can greatly reduce the risk of transmission. 

We urge the South African Civil Aviation Authority, the Minister of Transport, and the President to urgently attend to the current restrictive regulations in order to prevent a total collapse of aviation in South Africa.