Uproar over unannounced landing at OR Tambo

The pilot apparently said he was dropping off a friend who needed to catch a flight. Courtesy #DStv403

JOHANNESBURG - Aviation experts say tough action must be taken again the pilot and owner of a light aircraft that landed at OR Tambo International Airport.

A video shows the small aircraft landing at the airport unannounced while other planes were queuing to take off.

The light aircraft made an unscheduled landing at South Africa's busiest airport.

The pilot apparently said he was dropping off a friend who needed to catch a flight.

He landed on the taxiway, while other larger planes were waiting to take off.

“To enter controlled airspace, you’ve got to have permission, you have to have clearance,” said Captain Karl Jensen, from the Experimental Aircraft Association. “You have to be in contact with the authorities in air traffic control. You can’t just fly around and go land there, nobody would do that.

“There have been rare occasions in the past where someone has flown through the airspace, boy oh boy you don’t want to do that.

“They come all over you like a rash. It’s an infringement.”

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Air Traffic Navigation Services at OR Tambo International is confirming the incident. Authorities say it is a serious infringement and an investigation is being conducted The video has gone viral on social media.

While some find it amusing experts are raising concerns about safety at the airport.

“Tougher action must be taken. We will not allow people to just do as they want,” said Phuthego Mojapele, an aviation expert.

“Aviation space is very critical. You have the defence who’s got to protect our space. If it was in another country, they would have sent the air force to remove them.”

The investigation into the incident will look into whether the pilot filed a flight plan and if previous infringements were committed.