Safety concerns see SACAA re-suspend Cemair operations

Cemair has been suspended with immediate effect - again.

"The suspension comes after the most recent annual renewal audit revealed CemAir’s inability to prove the continued airworthiness of its fleet, says the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA).

Passengers are being advised to contact the airline to make alternative arrangements.

Cemair was initially suspended on 13 December 2018 due to non-compliance of safety specifications related to both its small and large aircraft. 

However, an out of court settlement negotiated saw the airline take to the skies, only to have 8 aircraft grounded on 26 December as the SACAA continued its full audit of the airline.  

READ: CemAir resumes services, called to address concerns of 'overloading'

In a statement issued on Friday 11 January the SACAA says, "Based on the renewal audit findings and the subsequent confirmation of the systemic maintenance failure, it is evident and without a doubt that CemAir is simply unable to prove the continued airworthiness of its entire fleet."

Cemair has been issued with a corrective plan and recommendations directly from the aircraft manufacturer "on what the operator needed to do in order to get the maintenance status of their fleet on track" .

However, the regulator slammed the airline saying, "The responsibility to ensure safe and secure aviation operations lies primarily in the hands of each and every licence-holder. The ‘catch-me-if-you-can’ attitude or predisposition to await recommendations and findings before attending to safety and security matters is dangerous and puts the lives of many at risk."

“Due to the serious nature of the findings and the impact they have on aviation safety, a decision was taken to immediately suspend CemAir’s Part 121 and 135 AOCs.”

The SACAA says it is on stand-by to assist CemAir to comply with the requisite civil aviation regulatory prescripts.   Cemair has 30 days to appeal, by 11 February 2019.   

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