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Comair service provider Lufthansa Technik stopped from operating

23 March 2022 - 16:21 By TIMESLIVE
Lufthansa Technik, which has been servicing Comair aircraft, has been suspended from operation by the SA Civil Aviation Authority. Stock photo.
Lufthansa Technik, which has been servicing Comair aircraft, has been suspended from operation by the SA Civil Aviation Authority. Stock photo.
Image: 123RF/Antonio Guillem

The SA Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) on Wednesday said it had barred Lufthansa Technik from servicing aircraft until further notice. 

Lufthansa was one of two aircraft maintenance organisations (AMOs) used by Comair, which has suffered a spate of in-flight technical problems. 

Comair operates Kulula.com and British Airways flights in SA.

The last incident was reported on Saturday when a British Airways flight from Gqeberha to Cape Town experienced technical problems with its landing gear.

The SACAA said Lufthansa Technik's suspension was put in place on Monday.

“The suspension follows a four-day audit which started on March 15. The audit of both the AMOs maintaining the Comair fleet follows the conclusion of the airline’s audit by the SACAA after a spate of incidents since February.

“During the safety oversight visit, Lufthansa Technik’s quality control management system and safety management systems were subjected to a review to establish legislative compliance related to reporting, analysis and follow-up of occurrences and corrective action plans to prevent recurrence.

“The audit resulted in four level 1 findings raised with the AMO. A level 1 finding poses an immediate risk to users of civil aviation services and such findings must be closed immediately.

“The SACAA shared the preliminary results of the audit on Sunday with Lufthansa’s accountable manager and his team and gave the operator 24 hours to make representations.”

Lufthansa managed to answer two of the level 1 findings on time, but failed to give satisfactory explanations for the other two.

“It is for this reason that the SACAA handed a 24-hour precautionary suspension of the privileges of the AMO with effect from Monday night.”

Listing the issues that it had with Lufthansa, the SACAA said it found that the AMO had a quality management system and safety management system in place, but they were not implemented in accordance with civil aviation regulations and manuals.

“The mandate of the SACAA is to regulate and enforce civil aviation safety and security compliance. This is a responsibility the regulator takes seriously and will execute diligently and without hesitation.”

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