Of the 12 500 aircraft registered in the South African Civil Aviation Authority register, only 42.4% (5 300) have been issued with a Certificate of Airworthiness, according to a reply to a DA parliamentary question.
According to the Civil Aviation Act, no aircraft may be legally operated without a Certificate of Airworthiness.
The issuing of Airworthiness Certificates has been a source of great contention between the Civil Aviation Authority and the airline industry over the last eight years.
The airline industry has expressed dissatisfaction with the manner in which the renewal process of Airworthiness Certificates is managed by the Civil Aviation Authority.
The DA has it on good authority that the Civil Aviation Authority has been operating without a General Manager for Air Safety Operations for quite some time now.
The DA will submit follow-up questions to the Minister of Transport, Dipuo Peters, to establish whether aircrafts without certificates are still in operation, why they are not being issued with certificates of airworthiness and what steps have been taken to assist them in obtaining certificates of airworthiness.
We will also, as a matter of urgency, request that the Acting Director of Civil Aviation, Poppy Khoza, together with the representatives of the airline industry meet with the Portfolio Committee of Transport to seek a solution to this problem.
Parliament needs to be reassured that the renewal process is not to blame for this poor record in issuing airworthiness certificates and it is not being used as a revenue-generating exercise.
The Civil Aviation Authority and the airline industry need to get both our aircraft and economy flying once more. Parliament must assist in ensuring that this happens.
Greg Krumbock, Shadow Deputy Minister of Transport