- Fireblade Aviation, at OR Tambo International Airport proceeded with their first international flight last week despite Gigaba's objections
- ACSA supports the opperating as it is said to relieve O.R Tambo's main terminal
- Gigaba is not impressed and has appealed the ruling
South Africa's wealthy Oppenheimer family owns the Fireblade Aviation, at OR Tambo International Airport. Brieflt.co.za learnt that they proceeded with their first international flights last week at the privately owned terminal.
"The seven-star facility successfully handled international tourists arriving in South Africa," it said in a statement.
"This marks the culmination of years of effort following a rigorous approval process and is a significant milestone for Fireblade, the South African aviation sector and South Africa’s high-end tourism industry."
Despite Gigaba, South Africa’s Finance Minister, stating there is no scope in law for the VIP terminal to operate, the Oppenheimer’s proceeded. Gigaba has accused the Oppenheimer family’s Fireblade Aviation of trying to manipulate him into granting authorisation to set up their VIP terminal at OR Tambo International Airport. Gigaba says he was being unfairly put under pressure.
“There’s an attempt to bully the Minister of Home Affairs to provide permission for something that must be operated in a building that doesn’t belong to Home Affairs.”
“All the key stakeholders in the matter, including the Revenue Service, the State Security, the police, the army, said no we don’t agree and Home Affairs alone is being bullied.”
The Airports Company of South Africa , which operates the country's airports, are also in favour of the operation, stating that the Fireblade would free up the main terminal at O.R. Tambo International Airport, allowing for additional capacity.
"Runway crossings will be reduced tremendously, which will both improve safety and reduce time for departing and arriving aircraft," Acsa said.
The High Court in Pretoria did rule in favour of the Oppenheimer late last, despite objections lodged in 2016 by then home affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba, who is now finance minister. Gigaba says that the judgment is being appealed.
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