PLETTENBERG BAY NEWS - The SA Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) has extended an olive branch to CemAir to assist with rectifying its alleged safety violations following a failed bid by the operator to overturn the regulator's decision to ground all flights due to the airline's "systemic failure" of maintenance controls.
The aviation authority announced on Friday 11 January that it had suspended the airline's air operator certificates (AOCs) following concerns over maintenance controls.
This comes after the authority announced, just before the festive season, that CemAir – which has regular flights between Plettenberg Bay and other city centres – could no longer operate as an airline or air operator or fly any of its 21 aircraft, due to the authority suspending two of Cemair's AOCs. One reason was audit findings showed the airline had been operating some aircraft outside of permissible loading limits.
When this decision was challenged by CemAir through an urgent court application, the airline was allowed to continue operations.
Case dismissed with costs
The latest suspension was again challenged by CemAir, but this time the Johannesburg High Court dismissed the matter with costs, on 24 January.
SACAA spokesperson Kabelo Ledwaba said the regulator is "willing, able and readily available" to assist CemAir to comply with the requisite civil aviation regulatory prescripts.
He added that the regulator does not view the court's decision as a victory in its favour. "It serves more as a confirmation that the safety of the people will always take precedence."
Ledwaba further said while the regulator appreciated and respected the right of operators to ask the courts to review its decisions, it was also of the view that the time spent going to court could be used "gainfully" by operators to engage with the regulator to ensure compliance with the prescribed aviation regulations.
CemAir has not yet responded to the court's findings or claims by the authority.
Read previous articles:
- CemAir's flights remain grounded
- CemAir grounded once again
- Court orders CemAir to take off again
- CemAir grounded a second time this year
- Passengers bear brunt of CemAir saga
'We bring you the latest Plettenberg Bay, Garden Route news'