SA Airlink welcomes clean bill of health

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Pretoria - SA Airlink has welcomed the vote of confidence expressed by Minister of Transport Sibusiso Ndebele and the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) in their operations.

"While we are relieved, once again, I want to apologise to our customers and all South Africans for the anxiety or distress created by the two accidents and incidents involving our planes," said SA Airlink chief executive officer Rodger Foster.

He said the safety and well-being of the passengers, staff and aircraft are and always have been "our number one priority".

Ndebele's announcement follows the SACAA's audit of Airlink's processes and procedures.

This was prompted by the 24 September accident near Durban and the 18 November runway incident in Port Elizabeth.

The audit was even more urgent after last week's aquaplaning accident in George. The SACAA is still investigating the causes of these events.

The SACAA's audit raised concerns relating to administrative procedures and management structures at Airlink's technical facility.

At the weekend a comprehensive assessment of each finding was conducted by Airlink's executive and technical management team, where corrective actions and procedures were identified.

Airlink then immediately began implementing these measures and yesterday morning reported back to the SACAA on its progress and actions taken to address their concerns.

At the conclusion of the meeting, the SACAA indicated its satisfaction with Airlink's response.

Ndebele commended the SACAA for its swift action and resolution of the Airlink matter.

"It is our responsibility to ensure that we do not compromise safety in all modes of transport including road, sea and air.

"We remain uncompromising in safeguarding the aviation and maritime sectors in our country which have kept world-class standards of safety. We cannot drop these standards at any cost," he said.