South African Authority Denies Airworthiness Press Report

 - October 21, 2013, 1:00 PM

The South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) has denounced an October 15 press report that claimed 58 percent of aircraft in South Africa do not have airworthiness certificates. The authority said the story was both inaccurate and irresponsible, insisting that its main point was based on a statement made by a member of the South African parliament that was taken out of context.

“The statistics communicated via the parliamentary question stated that the South African aircraft register has approximately 12,500 aircraft,” SACAA explained in a news release. “Another question inquired about the number of certificates of airworthiness that have been issued by the SACAA at that time and the response given was 5,300. The fact of the matter is that not all [nearly 50 percent] aircraft in the aircraft register require a certificate of airworthiness (CA).”

SACAA said a portion of the aircraft on the country’s registry require an authority-to-fly permit rather than a CA.

The SACAA said reporters who published the story never called the regulator for comment and could have received clarification if they had. Officials complained that the story “damages the reputation of the regulator [SACAA] and our industry but also the reputation of this country to our international counterparts and potential customers.”