The South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) has revealed that it was approached by the operator, South African Airways (SAA), with a request for an exemption relating to a flight to Brussels.
SACAA said it thoroughly considered the operator’s request for the said exemption, and directed the operator to provide further details relating to some of the risk mitigating measures.
According to the SACAA, the concern that the SACAA had with the initial exemption application was in relation to the recency of their flight deck crew, whereby the applicant did not provide adequate details on mitigation measures. It is important to note that recency is a vital safety requirement for pilots as outlined in the Civil Aviation Regulations.
SAA, had voluntarily ceased operations a while back, noted the CAA, adding, however, that “this does not mean that they had surrendered their Air Operator Certificate (AOC) to the SACAA. In that regard, their AOC remains valid even though they had put their operations temporarily on hold.”
According to SACAA, any operator who is not conducting regular flights, or their aircraft are not in regular service/operation for one reason or another, is expected to conduct the required maintenance on the aircraft, which may include preservation and return to service maintenance.
SACAA said SAA Technical remained operational to perform these maintenance tasks on SAA aircraft. Subsequently, SAA managed to address the concerns that were raised by the SACAA. As such, the CAA stated, the exemption application was granted on 16 February 2021.