Concerns about standard and safety of aviation in South Africa following a near-fatal accident at Port Elizabeth Airport

Adv Anton Alberts

A probing investigation should be undertaken into the safety of aviation in South Africa following a near-fatal accident two weeks ago (10 July) at the Port Elizabeth airport, Adv. Anton Alberts, the FF Plus’ parliamentary spokesperson on Transport says.

Mr. Thabelo Ledwaba of the Civil Aviation Authority of South Africa today confirmed to the FF Plus that two airplanes jointly carrying more than 200 passengers had been involved in an incident which could be described as a near-fatal accident and the incident is being investigated.

He also confirmed that the action of an air traffic controller, who could possibly have played a role in the incident, is also being investigated. According to the FF Plus’ information, the person was apparently an affirmative action appointment.

Mr. Ledwaba confirmed that an SA Express flight from Durban received permission to land at around two o’ clock on 10 July while an SAA flight was ready for take-off on the runway when the accident nearly occurred.

Adv. Alberts said according to information which he received, the aircraft missed each other at the last moment due to the skill and fast action of the pilots who undoubtedly prevented a tragedy.

“In the interest of aviation safety in South Africa, urgent attention should be given to the effect of affirmative action in high-risk work environments, such as this.

“There is more than enough proof, as we have now again seen at the SABC with the appointment of the chief executive officer, that the ANC’s policy is prepared to overlook merit and qualifications in its hurried attempts to transform South Africa in every area.

“The FF Plus views this incident in an extremely serious light and will insist on the highest levels that a survey is undertaken into the standards of training and the skills subjects of every air traffic controller in South Africa,” Adv. Alberts said.


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