UPDATE:Restricted air traffic zones for WYD, ban on pyrotechnical materials

There will be seven restricted air traffic zones in south Poland for the duration of the July 26-31 World Youth Day in Krakow. Krakow’s Balice airport is prepared to receive increased air traffic.

Colonel Robert Stachurski, Air Defence Chief at the Polish Armed Forces Operational Command, told reporters that the flight restricted zones will be located around Krakow (a 100-km radius), Czestochowa (50 km), Kalwaria Zebrzydowska (5 km), Brzegi (5km) and Oswiecim (5 km). The ban will be in force from Monday, July 25, midnight until 23:59 hrs on Monday August 1.

There will also be a total ban on private and leisure aviation and UAVs. Police spokesperson Mariusz Ciarka warned that there will be strict penalties for using drones in the forbidden zones, including prison terms of up to five years.

The air traffic restrictions will not embrace airline flights nor rescue, firefighting and government aircraft. Emergency medics and mountain rescuers will be able to use helicopters in their work.

Krakow Airport acting CEO Radoslaw Wloszek said Balice was ready to handle more passenger traffic during WYD. It is estimated that the airport will service around 20,000 passengers daily, which is not significantly more than during peak months. The new terminal’s capacity stands at 29,000 passengers daily.

Krakow’s Balice Airport expects to receive around a hundred extra flights during the WYD event, mainly from southern Europe. Balice authorities have said the terminal will probably service around 40 thousand WYD pilgrims during the event. The airport has already prepared fast processing lanes for the WYD arrivals.

As of Monday in Krakow and Wieliczka there will also be a ban on the use of pyrotechnical materials, and as of Wednesday a ban on both their use and transport. As of Wednesday vehicles with a gross mass exceeding 12 tonnes will be allowed only from 10:00 p.m. until 5:00 a.m.(PAP)