Aviation authority effectively grounds CemAir flights

12 December 2018 - 18:43 By Nico Gous
Image: Facebook/CemAir (Pty) Ltd

The South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) grounded CemAir flights for 24 hours on Wednesday.

This after the airline allegedly contravened legislation and civil aviation regulations.

“This implies that CemAir cannot operate as an approved air operator,” SACAA’s aviation safety executive Simon Segwabe said.

The CAA said the prohibition order lapses at 1.30pm on Thursday after it informed CemAir on Wednesday afternoon.

SACAA inspectors found during CemAir’s annual permit renewal audit on Wednesday that the airline had contravened the Civil Aviation Act and five SACAA regulations.

This included being unable to “produce nor demonstrate” that an approved and qualified person was hired as "Responsible Person: Flight Operations".

Segwabe said this means “they don’t have anybody who’s assigned to that airline to ensure that the operations of that airline are safe”.

Someone was temporarily hired in this position and CemAir asked for an extension which SACAA granted while they searched for a permanent replacement. Segwabe said the extension had expired on December 6.

SACAA said it turned down CemAir’s request that the person hired in a temporary capacity  be permanently employed as he did not need meet the requirements.

“This malpractice demonstrates that CemAir is intentionally violating applicable Civil Aviation Regulations,” SACAA said. “Their actions in this regard therefore pose an immediate and serious safety hazard and risk to the public at large as well as other airspace users and its crew, and passengers. This decision, which regrettably affects travellers, is made in the interests of advancing aviation safety.”