Govt takes steps for aviation safety

2010-09-17 20:46

Durban - The national transport department intends setting up an aviation safety board and an appeals committee to investigate aircraft safety, Transport Minister S'bu Ndebele said on Friday.

“The department will be working on the establishment of the aviation safety investigation board as well as the appeals committee,” Ndebele said at the opening of the Board of Airlines Representatives of South Africa conference.

“To maintain high safety standards in the transport sector, the department will promulgate regulations to improve compliance with the International Civil Aviation Organisation.”

South Africa was ready to become a bigger player in the aviation industry, especially after the FIFA World Cup.

“We are ready to become global competitors while our airport infrastructure meets economic growth and socio-economic goals of our country. This is the legacy of the World Cup,” said Ndebele.

In preparation for UEFA 2012, Ukrainian aviation authorities had visited South Africa to learn how the country managed World Cup operations. Brazil would be doing the same ahead of its hosting the 2014 soccer tournament.

The Beijing Airport Authority was pursuing discussions on more flights between China and South Africa.

Airports were turning into "airport cities", he said.

“The advent of airport cities tells us about the potential and actual role of airports in the socio-economy of a country.

"As a catalyst of economic development, the airport city has become a focal driver for future urban development.”

In order to achieve this some areas needed growth in the aviation industry, such as environmental management, job creation, skills development and investment promotion and safety and security.