After the South African Civil Aviation Authority (Sacaa) grounded CemAir flights for 24 hours earlier this month, the airline has now been cleared to fly provided it complies with safety regulations of aviation.
Sacaa's Phindiwe Gwebu says CemAir was grounded after a scheduled audit found that the airline didn't comply with certain regulations.
We uncovered a Level 1 finding which is the highest category from a safety perspective and therefore the law then compels us to take action in terms of making sure that whatever is uncovered is dealt with immediately.— Phindiwe Gwebu, from the South African Civil Aviation Authority
She adds that the finding led to the airline being grounded for 24 hours pending them rectifying those regulations.
A Level 1 finding means that the airline was expected to appoint certain post holders who are required in terms of regulations. For an airline to operate, certain positions with specified qualifications defined by the law need to be filled.
In this instance, we are talking about a responsible flight operations person, a person that plans the operations of the airline on a day to day basis. We discovered that the airline reported to Sacaa that the individual had resigned and they put a replacement forward. We reviewed the replacement and told them we are not happy and needed someone who is qualified.— Phindiwe Gwebu, from the South African Civil Aviation Authority
Gwebu says CemAir continued to use that particular person who wasn't compliant, thus ComAir was precautionarily grounded. This lead to the airline lodging an application challenging Sacaa's decision. The judge asked both party's to settle out of court.
What that order says is that pending the airline submitting an appeal to the director, the airline can continue to fly, however, the court attached conditions that they have to comply and close the findings that Sacaa raised.— Phindiwe Gwebu, from the South African Civil Aviation Authority
Listen below to the full interview: