African Pilot’s July edition
The distribution of the July edition of African Pilot is complete and already my inbox is filled with e-mails from readers who are enjoying this new method of online publishing. This edition features Aviation Training Organisations and Flight Schools. In addition to the aviation training feature, this bumper July edition has more than 40 feature articles within 124 pages to keep you entertained. African Pilot is also the only southern African monthly aviation magazine that fully supports the Commercial Aviation Association of Southern Africa (CAASA) by providing a FREE full-page advertisement in every edition. I also wish to thank our advertisers for their continued support through this terrible COVID-19 lockdown period. Since African Pilot is no longer printing, the digital magazine is available FREE of charge anywhere in the world. However, through this period of just over three months, we have grown African Pilot’s footprint four times over and this will continue as the monthly magazine reaches new dimensions as we continue to grow African Pilot’s influence further.
African Pilot’s August edition
The August edition of African Pilot will feature all the aviation businesses at Lanseria International Airport. This week Adrian and I started visiting Lanseria to take pictures and obtain information from as many aviation businesses based at the airport as possible. The material deadline for the August edition is Friday 17 July. For advertising opportunities please contact Adrian Munro at e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or Cell: 079 880 4359. All editorial material should be sent to me at: email@example.com. Thank You.
The following are links to all the magazines that African Pilot produced this year so that you can download all the 2020 editions in magazine view format:
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About African Pilot
There is no doubt that African Pilot provides the finest overall media reach of all aviation publications in Africa where we are in a position to provide professional video and stills photography, website development, social media platforms, company newsletters as well as several other important media services to our customers. Naturally the monthly printed magazine has an incredibly long shelf life due to its excellent design and layout. Then of course the monthly magazine is also available as a digital edition where ALL advertisers have enjoy the direct routing to their websites at a touch on a smart phone or tablet as well as a click of the mouse on a computer screen.
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SOUTH AFRICAN AVIATION NEWS
AAD 2020 cancelled
This year’s edition of the Africa Aerospace and Defence (AAD) exhibition and airshow has been cancelled due to COVID-19. Scheduled for 16 to 20 September at Air Force Base Waterkloof in Centurion, organisers said the exhibition has been deferred to 21 to 25 September 2022. The exhibition organisers list five factors influencing the delay decision. They are an absolute need to ensure the battle against the COVID-19 virus is won and further safeguard human lives; the severity the pandemic imposes on the global aviation and defence exhibition sector; a Department of Defence (DoD) decision to put a hold on all foreign activities and events, including in- and outbound missions; and South African borders remaining closed with no travelling anticipated by September. The postponement of AAD 2020 follows international trends as the coronavirus pandemic cancels or postpones most major aerospace and defence events for this year.
What happened in aviation over the past week?
Speaking notes for the minister of transport, Mr Fikile Mbalula
On 30 May 2020, I announced the opening of domestic air travel for purposes of business and other essential travel as contained in the Directions signed and issued on the same day. These directions were accompanied by guidelines which gave detailed compliance requirements to be adhered to by the civil aviation industry. It has been three weeks since the OR Tambo, King Shaka, Cape Town and Lanseria International airports have been opened for domestic passenger travel. We have witnessed airlines gradually taking to the skies mainly through the phase one approved airports.
Following the announcement of phase 1 domestic operations, the airports and airlines submitted their Standard Operating Procedures to the SACAA for approval and this was followed by a compliance inspection conducted by the Regulator to all four airports. My team and I visited ORTIA and Lanseria for a readiness walk-about and we were satisfied that the airports were ready to for operation.
Airlines opened for flight bookings immediately thereafter and it took them almost two weeks to build passenger numbers to at least 50% capacity. On 5 June 2020, Cemair operated its first flight between OR Tambo International Airport and Cape Town and added King Shaka International Airport to its schedule on 8 June 2020. Airlink commenced operations on 8 June 2020 between OR Tambo, Cape Town and King Shaka International Airports. On 15 June 2020, FlySafair and Mango Airlines commenced flights between the above airports and FlySafair included Lanseria International Airport on its schedule.
The SACAA opened its doors for aviation personnel licence examinations on 8 June 2020. Aviation Training Organisations opened their doors to students which will further allow for more students to finalise their licence status.
It was critical for us to test the efficiency and impact of the guidelines we issued against the health and safety of the passengers and aviation personnel operating in this space and we are pleased with the progress we have observed to date. Like any other area, we are making continuous improvement in areas where we observed challenges in consultation with the Department of Health representatives, specifically Port Health. Some of these observations include the following:
• As more airports are opened, this will naturally increase the number of passengers at airports and therefore measures have been put in place to ensure that passengers are prepared for their experience at the airports to avoid congestion mainly at security check points. Whilst this is work perfectly at the airports currently, it will need to be managed properly as we open for more activity
• To date the SACAA has received about 117 SOPs from industry and more than 87 have been approved
• Sanitisers are classified as dangerous goods and the SACAA has made provision for the carrying of such in limited quantities as a safety measure and in compliance with existing regulations.
• For the efficient facilitation of passengers at the airports, the operators have urged the flying community to arrive at least two hours early to allow for sufficient time to process passengers at the airports whilst adhering to the screening requirements as per the DOH regulations.
• The SACAA have also reviewed its earlier decision of ‘no catering’ on board an aircraft by permitting airlines to provide pre-packed meals that must be placed in front of the seat for each passenger before the passenger board the aircraft. This will allow for minimised movement during flight.
Having engaged further with the aviation industry with regards to the observations made during phase 1 of domestic air travel activities, I am pleased to announce the following relaxations in this sector of the transport industry:
• All international passenger flights are prohibited except those flights authorised by the Minister of Transport.
Domestic passenger flights are permitted subject to the following conditions:
• In addition to the original four airports that are currently operating, the following domestic airports will reopen from 1 July 2020:
• Bram Fischer International Airport
• Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport
• Pietermaritzburg Airport
• Port Elizabeth International Airport
• Richards Bay Airport
• Skukuza Airport
• Upington International Airport.
• All aerial work to conduct the following will be permitted rom 1 July 2020:
(a) agricultural spraying, seeding and dusting, cloud spraying
(e) aerial harvesting
(f) aerial patrol, observation and survey
(g) aerial advertisement, including banner towing and other towing of objects
(h) search and rescue
(j) aerial recording by photographic or electronic means
(k) fire spotting, control and fighting
4) General Aviation is permitted for the following purposes:
• Approved regional re-positioning flights for all South African and foreign registered aircraft into and from South Africa for return after maintenance and repair, to perform maintenance and repair or to continue with contractual work within South Africa or foreign countries within the region
• Exchanging of crew members operating in foreign countries as and when required
• Transporting of aviation technicians, mechanics and engineers internationally for essential support and assistance to aircraft.
• Proficiency flights provided that the flight is authorised by the South African Civil Aviation Authority and remains within the general flying area, airfield or airport boundaries
• Recreational aviation is permitted for proficiency flights provided that the flight is authorised by the South African Civil Aviation Authority and remains within the general flying area, airfield or airport boundaries.
All these measures are in line with the gradual reopening of our economy, as we enter a new normal and journey together, towards a healthier, safer and more prosperous South Africa.
As a consequence of the minister’s statements, the SACAA sent out yet another NOTAM, which was exactly the same NOTAM that was sent out two weeks ago. This NOTAM was sent in its usual unbelievable format where all CAPITAL LETTERS were used, spelling errors, grammatical errors and of course repetitive text. When will the South African regulator wake up that we are living in the 21st Century and not in the time of telex messages of 60 to 70 years ago?
Comair BRPs get extension for funders to progress offer
Comair’s creditors have granted its business rescue practitioners an extension to publish the business rescue plan after an interested investor group requested more time to progress its offer. “We have been clear from the outset that for this business rescue to succeed, funding will be required. We have made significant progress exploring an expression of interest and now the investor group needs to consider the legal complexities. It can then make a binding offer and we can include sufficient information in the plan for the affected parties to make a considered decision,” says Richard Ferguson, one of the business rescue practitioners. Discussions with various funders began earlier this month and a non-binding expression of interest was received on 21 June. The practitioners have since been progressing negotiations so that substantial information about the offer can be included in the plan. “There is no other reason for asking creditors for the extension. Funding is fundamental to this plan and we cannot reasonably expect affected parties to vote on it until we have a binding offer,” says Ferguson. On 30 June the creditors today agreed to extend the date for the publication of the plan until 28 July 2020.
Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) welcomes opening of more airports
ACSA welcomed the announcement on 30 June by the Minister of Transport that three airports serving provincial centres will be opened for business travel from 1 July. The airports owned and operated by ACSA that will be open for business travel from Wednesday I July are those that serve Port Elizabeth, Upington and Bloemfontein. Spokesperson for Airports Company South Africa, Gopolang Peme, says managers and staff of the airports have been preparing and will have in place all the required measures before 1 July.
“Airport management and staff have been getting ready for this moment for a few weeks now. They have implemented the extensive physical measures that are required by the regulations. Airport staff have been trained and are ready to activate the new procedures,” says Peme.
ACSA reopened its three largest airports from Monday 1 June for business passengers. Peme says that the first month of the new procedures has worked well at OR Tambo International, Cape Town International and King Shaka International airports. Peme appealed to passengers to familiarise themselves with the new procedures.
Arriving at the airport
• Passengers must use drop-and-go facilities or public transport as only passengers will be allowed into the terminal
• Limited parkade options will be available. These are signposted at each airport.
• Meeters and greeters will not be allowed in the terminal building.
Airport entrances and access control
• A number of access points have been closed at each airport. Please visit the ACSA website for details on which access points and terminal entrance points should be used.
• Access to terminal buildings will therefore be restricted.
• Physical distancing rules will apply at the terminal entrance.
• Masks are compulsory from entry to the airport all the way through a flight and out of the destination airport.
• Port Health will conduct screening checks at entrances.
• Passengers must produce their business travel permission letters at the entrance.
• It is the passenger’s responsibility to ensure that they have the necessary permission letter before they book a flight.
• Passengers are encouraged to check in online before going to the airport.
• Online check in can also be done at the self-service screens in the terminal building.
• A limited number of check-in counters will be open and physical distancing rules will apply in these queues.
• Using a check-in counter will take longer.
Security checkpoint process
• Passengers will scan their own paper-based or mobile device-based boarding pass to the scanner at the security checkpoint.
• Passengers should remove any metal and electronic items from their person before entering the security queue. This includes mobile devices, watches, jewellery, wallets, keys and so on.
• These items must be placed in the tray at the security scanner.
• This process will minimise the need for security officers to conduct physical pat downs at the checkpoint.
Boarding the aircraft
• Physical distancing rules apply for queues to board an aircraft.
• Passengers must scan their own boarding pass at the boarding gate.
• Boarding will be done in a controlled manner with passengers travelling in the rear seats of the aircraft boarding first. Passengers with tickets for Row A, for example, will board last.
• Masks must be worn for the duration of the flight.
Disembarking from an aircraft
• Masks must continue to be used when disembarking and moving towards the baggage carousels.
• Physical distancing rules will apply at the baggage carousels.
• Crowding close to the baggage carousels will not be permitted.
ACSA developed these protocols through engagements with Airports Council International and the International Air Transport Association. The measures being implemented at South African airports conform to the standards recently set out by these organisations.
Provisional Liquidators calling for an expression of interest in SA Express airlines
A challenging chapter is unfolding in South Africa’s aviation industry as the Joint Provisional Liquidators of SA Express Airways will issue an ‘Expression of Interest’ notice to test the markets appetite for equity partners or buyer of the airline or its part or all of its assets. SA Express has floundered in recent years with allegations of mismanagement and corruption making headlines. However, it seems the Covid-19 pandemic may be the final straw to break the back of the once proud state-owned airline.
GoIndustry DoveBid, a leading global asset disposal consultancy firm (with experience and expertise within the aviation sector) has been mandated by the Joint Provisional Liquidators to lead and manage the Expression of Interest sales process. There is significant value to be found throughout all aspects of the operation, not least of which are the eight Bombardier CRJ200 jet airlines, engines, rotables and infrastructure. “In terms of the Provisional Liquidation order we have a short period to gauge the interest of the marketplace and check validity of expressed interest submission. This will then be presented to the Provisional Liquidators, who will review and seek to determine the best way forward and the best outcome for SA Express Employees, Creditors and Shareholders.
“There are some provisos, would be investors or buyers must be able to operate in the South African environment, must be able to be financially sustainable and outline their employment strategy and transformation within the aviation industry. As a result, we are working to manage the process in the most transparent way and in an accelerated process as to ensure that all technical and operational licences can be preserved,” says John Taylor from GoIndustry Dovebid who is leading this process. He adds that the opportunity is there for an entrepreneurial consortium to gain access into the domestic and regional airline market. This process could normally be notoriously difficult and therefore the real treasure in these circumstances may well be licences and statutory requirements that are already in place.
The assets of the company include:
• Eight Bombardier CRJ200 jets
• Engines and spare parts
• GSE, specialised tooling, workshop and support equipment
• Licenses (operating, AMO, ATNS, ICASA etc), IT infrastructure and all other intangible assets required to operate an airline in South Africa
The final submission date for Expressions of Interest is 21 July 2020. All submissions should be sent via e-mail to John Taylor at firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: +27 (0)21 702 3206 or Cell: +27(0)82 416 3883, Website: www.go-dove.co.za
WORLDWIDE ACCIDENTS AND INCIDENTS
Tragic accident near Wonderboom National Airport
It appears that a Piper Cherokee 180 spun in whilst on the base leg for runway 11 on Tuesday 30 June crashing into a deadly fire on the grounds of Onderstepoort Vetinary University campus. Medics attending to the accident declared the single female pilot aged 16 was declared deceased at the accident site. The aircraft in question belonged to Professional Flight Centre based at the airport.
The young lady in this case had just over 22 hours and was busy with her solo airfield consolidation. This was to be her final full stop landing before she would advance to cross country training, firstly with an instructor and then as a solo student. I have serious concerns about such a young person at this age being allowed to fly solo, but this is for another discussion. As usual there has been so much speculation on aviation forums where individual posters have not actually understood the realistic situation of this tragic accident as well as several others involving very young student pilots.
WORLD AVIATION NEWS
EASA bans Pakistan International Airlines from European airspace
As a consequence of the recent investigation that found 40% of Pakistani pilots to hold dubious licences, the European Union Air Safety Agency (EASA) has temporarily suspended the country’s flag carrier, Pakistan International Airlines’ (PIA), from operating to and from the European Union. The EASA found that ‘the operator could not demonstrate having effectively implemented all elements of a Safety Management Systems’. The measure will be effective from 1 July 2020, for a period of six months. PIA has the right to appeal against this decision. The airline’s management is already in contact with the EASA, according to Baaghi TV.
The Pakistani airline industry has been at the center of a scandal for the past week since the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (PCAA) revealed that 262 out of 860 active Pakistani pilots had not sat the pilot exams themselves and that in total, 40% of pilots, including inactive ones, held ‘fake’ licenses. Pakistan International Airlines immediately suspended 150 of its 426 pilots. The Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority carried out an investigation that found that 40% of pilots in the country held fake pilot licenses. In response to the findings, Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) suspended 150 of its 426 pilots pending further investigation.
Vietnam grounds 27 Pakistani pilots over license concerns
Following the investigation of the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (PCAA) that revealed an alarming number of dubious licenses, 27 Pakistani pilots working for Vietnamese airlines were suspended. The Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) conducted an evaluation of all foreign pilots operating on its soil after its counterpart in Pakistan revealed that about one-third of Pakistani pilots operated using irregular licenses and degrees.
The census found that 1,223 foreign nationals operated as pilots in the country, out of which 27 Pakistani citizens. 12 Pakistani pilots had active contracts (11 with Vietjet Air and 1 with Jetstar Pacific) while 15 had expired, some of them due to the coronavirus pandemic. Vietnam Airlines and Bamboo Airways did not employ any Pakistani pilots. The head of the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam has ordered a suspension for all Pakistani pilots working for Vietnamese airlines, asking carriers to temporarily not assign flight schedules to the pilots until further notice. The records of the 27 pilots will be reviewed in cooperation with the PCAA. The CAAV notes that no case of a Pakistani pilot involved in a flight safety incident or threat was ever recorded in Vietnam.
Twice Weekly News from African Pilot
Should you miss out on any edition of APAnews, please visit the website: www.africanpilot.co.za and click on the APAnews link on the front page. All past weekly APAnews publications have been archived on the website.
Until next week Monday, please be ‘Serious about flying’.
Athol Franz (Editor)