The South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) today announced the reinstatement of SA Express’ Air Operator Certificate (AOC), clearing the airline to resume its scheduled services.
This follows the reinstatement of SA Express’ Aircraft Maintenance Organisation (AMO) approval by SACAA just over a month ago.
“With these two crucial certificates successfully reinstated, this means that SA Express can now conduct scheduled commercial operations as an airline,” said SACAA in a statement.
SA Express was grounded in May this year when SACAA suspended its AOC and AMO approvals as well as the Certificates of Airworthiness (CoA) for nine of the twenty-one aircraft on the operator’s books. The decision to revoke SA Express permits came after the SACAA had conducted an audit at the airline and its maintenance organisation, which uncovered severe cases of non-compliance that posed serious safety risks.
In order to be allowed to operate as an airline again, SA Express had to undertake recertification processes for both the AOC and AMO approvals. The airline also had to ensure that all aircraft earmarked for operations had a Certificate of Airworthiness.
“A key message to all operators and aviation personnel is that financial sustainability must always be carefully balanced with the need to uphold, at all times, acceptable levels of aviation safety and security. If the scale is heavily tilted towards one end, the air transport network as we all know it today, will cease to exist,” cautioned Poppy Khoza, Director of Civil Aviation at SACAA.