South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) has decided to suspend two of CemAir’s operator certificates (AOCs) over its ‘unacceptable and intolerable’ safety practice.

This suspension will bar CemAir from operating as an airline and from flying any of its 21 aircraft.

The impacted AOCs are associated with the airline’s permits granted under Part 121 and Part 135 of the Civil Aviation Regulations.

The audit team recommended to the Director of Civil Aviation for the suspension for the AOCs.

The decision to suspend the AOCs is the result of a review of CemAir’s Corrective Action Plan (CAP), which was designed to resolve the issues observed during the authority’s annual renewal audit carried out last week.

“Despite being issued with a Prohibition Order, CemAir knowingly continued to fly their aircraft in contravention of the applicable regulatory prescripts.”

CemAir’s CAP appeared to be unsatisfactory and did not sufficiently address the issues raised in the annual renewal audit.

In a statement SACAA said: “In addition, records in the SACAA’s possession demonstrated that CemAir has been operating some aircraft outside of permissible loading (weight and balance) limits, meaning the weights of passengers and baggage declared by the flight crew were not the same with those recorded by the service provider contracted by CemAir.

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“The SACAA also noted with concern that despite being issued with a Prohibition Order, CemAir knowingly continued to fly their aircraft in contravention of the applicable regulatory prescripts.

“This constitutes a material contravention that threatens aviation safety and shows a total disregard for the role and responsibilities of the regulator. This conduct is absolutely unacceptable and intolerable.”

In February, SACAA temporarily withdrew the certificate of airworthiness (CoA) for 12 aircraft operated by CemAir.

The temporary withdrawal followed a SACAA audit that found that some of the aircraft serviced at CemAir’s Aircraft Maintenance Organisation (AMO) were certified as airworthy by unqualified personnel.