The DA will write to the Chairperson of Portfolio Committee on Transport, Mosebenzi Zwane, to request the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) be summonsed to appear before Parliament following the de-categorisation of Polokwane airport.
According to reports the Polokwane airport has been de-categorized to CAT2, due to its inability to provide the minimum level of emergency services required to maintain its license category. CAT2 level is below the required minimum for scheduled commercial air services, and as consequence, Polokwane airport is now unable to take commercial flights.
The DA wants SACAA to explain the following to the Portfolio Committee:
How this level of negligence at the Polokwane airport was allowed to happen;
Whether anyone has been held accountable for the neglect;
What measures are being put in place to address the non-compliance at the airport to regain the minimum category required to accommodate commercial air services; and
How this negligence will be corrected and avoided in the future?
The Polokwane airport, despite its size, is a key air transport connection for business travellers and people who are based in Limpopo. The airport is also a vital source of revenue for the region as it provides much-needed job opportunities. The de-categorisation will, without doubt, have an immediate, and severe impact on the revenue of businesses that are related to air connectivity, furthering the blows of South Africa's current economic crisis.
The disruptive impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on businesses and livelihoods in the air travel sector has been enormous. SACAA's negligence will therefore deal airlines a further blow.
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