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News Letter 13 December 2018

Good day all

As we wind down for the “Silly Season” it seems like the aviation world has also drawn to a halt, there are no events this weekend that we are aware of. For anyone flying, driving or riding this festive please be careful out, BE SAFE.

Ultimate Heli, NAC Heliport

On Sunday 9 November Ultimate Aviation and the National Airways Corporation (NAC) celebrated the opening of the new heliport in Waterfall City in Midrand – the first privately-owned purpose-built helicopter port in the country.

According to the NAC, the heliport is being developed in two phases – the first phase which is now completed is on 32 hectares of land comprises 3,100 square meters of hangars, 2,800 square meters of office space, including a terminal building, VIP lounge facilities, a restaurant, fuel farm, EASA standard FATO (final approach and take off area) and parking pads for up to sixteen helicopters. Phase two is expected to add more hangar space and more office space as is needed.

“The state-of-the-art facility, which will be used primarily for helicopter operations, maintenance and pilot training, is in an ideal location close to Johannesburg, Sandton, Centurion and Pretoria,” said NAC CEO, Martin Banner. Centralising our Helicopter Operations and Pilot Training Schools from Grand Central and Rand Airport to our own dedicated helicopter facility will allow the company to continue to grow and offer an even better and more convenient service to our helicopter owners, pilots and charter clients.”

NAC is South Africa’s leading and largest helicopter operator offering helicopter sales, helicopter charter, scenic helicopter flights, helicopter contracts and specialised operations, helicopter management, helicopter maintenance and pilot training.

CemAir Grounding

CemAir airline faces losing its air operating certificate (AOC) should it not provide the SA Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) with valid reasons explaining why the certificate should not be revoked by 1.30pm today.

According to SACAA inspectors, following a permit renewal audit, the airline allegedly contravened the Civil Aviation Act and five other civil aviation regulations.

The Johannesburg-based airline, operating flights between Cape Town and Plettenberg Bay, as well as Cape Town and Hoedspruit, could neither produce nor demonstrate the appointment of an approved and suitably qualified “responsible person: flight operations” - a critical position as required by the Civil Aviation Regulations, said Simon Segwabe, the executive for aviation safety operations at the time of the audit.

The 24-hour suspension on Wednesday comes after a 30-day period requested by the operator for the appointment of an interim responsible person: flight operations, which in turn would have afforded them an opportunity to recruit a permanent employee.

One but has to wonder about the timing of the grounding, and the motives behind it, CemAir have put forward a candidate to be accredited recognised as a “responsible person” but the SACAA refused to accept and accredit their candidate thus leading to the latest grounding. Once again CemAir have been grounded in peak travel time costing the small airline millions per day in lost income. CemAir has made representation to the SACAA regarding the allegations and await their feedback.

CemAir currently owns and operates a large fleet of twelve CRJ 100/200 LR Airliners, nine Beech 1900D aircraft, two Dash-8 Q300’s and one Dash-8 100 and services areas of the country not serviced by the other airlines.

In the interim the airline is making alternate arrangements for passengers where possible. They are working closely with other carriers to accommodate our passengers with minimum inconvenience. Alternately all passengers can apply for a full refund.

FlySafair join forces with Air France-KLM

Air France-KLM and FlySafair have entered into an interline agreement that took effect on December 11.

Pieter Bootsma, executive vp Strategy of Air France-KLM announced this news at KLM’s birthday bash on Tuesday night, where the airline was celebrating 80 years in the South African market.

The agreement allows travel agents to issue just one ticket with both FA and AF-KL sectors. The ability to purchase both tickets together is also a major benefit for travellers who no longer have to worry about forfeiting their domestic flight booking in the event that their inbound flight is delayed.

The agreement also means that travellers can connect from FlySafair’s domestic flights onto Air France and KLM flights into Europe and onwards without having to gather their luggage and check-in again.

Kirby Gordon, head of Sales and Distribution at FlySafair, said the agreement was a very significant milestone for the airline.

The SA Air Force pilot ranks are bolstered by seventeen newly qualified pilots.

The newly commissioned first lieutenants were presented with their coveted pilots wings at the annual SAAF Wings Parade at AFB Langebaanweg on Friday 7 December.

The proud recipients are Lieut’s A Bunsi, MD Cant, AJ du Toit, K Fisher, S Gabela, SEF Gumede, KKT Kekana, MP Kekana, MW Kheleli, P Mahlakwana, TA Mathonsi, GI Mavuso, LSS Menze, D Mulomoni, L Ntsilimbela, R Radzuma and d TA Shingira.

Ten newly qualified navigators were also awarded their “half” wing at the parade they are Lieut’s LT Khumalo, H Makhado, DR Mogano, IM Nkadimeng and AR Theron, Ten flight engineers were also awarded their “half” wing they are Sargent’s MC Mazibuko, SC Mudzunga, AM Nevhorwa, RTN Sokhwivhilu and X Tshefu.

Lieutenant General Zakes Msimang, SAAF Chief, congratulated the Pilot Wings Course 126 on achieving a 100% pass rate and urged all the new pilots, navigators and flight engineers to become “an even more integral component of the SAAF commitment in support of government initiatives to being peace and stability to our region and continent”.


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