News agency, Cape Town, South Africa
Wednesday June 26th 2019

45 fatalities in SA aviation accidents over last three years


There have been 383 air traffic accidents reported in South Africa over the past three years, in which 45 people have died, the South African Civil Aviation Authority revealed yesterday.

In a report tabled at the Global Air Traffic Management Conference which started at the Cape Town International Convention Centre on Monday, aviation authority stated that 139, 137, and 107 aircraft accidents were reported  in 2009/10, 2010/11 and 2011/12 periods respectively.

As a result, 14 people died in the 2009/10 period, 16 in the 2010/11 period and 15 in the 2011/12 period.

The SACAA is working to minimize these numbers.

Spokesperson Phindi Gwebu said the aviation authority was working “closely with industry in promoting a culture of safety”.

She said various campaigns have been launched in the past and current year addressing safety in the industry and ways to curb aviation accidents were constantly being devised.

Addressing conference delegates on Monday deputy transport minister Sindisiwe Chikunga said air safety management was “a critical strategic component of the global economy and indeed the economies of all states”.

“Positive policies are needed and implementation of safety measures is equally important to drive aviation’s significant economic benefits.”

She urged stakeholders to rally behind the global Civil Aviation Navigation Services Organisation’s safety and security strategies “so that our social and economic objectives through aviation safety could be achieved”.

With air traffic across the African continent expected to grow by about 6 % in the next 20 years, she said such growth came with “a number of challenges for a continent already facing complex and diverse aviation challenges”.

She said the department’s Air Traffic Navigation Services’s vision was to be a major contributing partner towards ensuring aviation safety in Africa through training efforts.

She said the institution was committed to world best practices and undertook to give “each client the skills and knowledge to successfully take on the challenges faced by providers of air traffic management and technical services”.

ATNS acting chief executive Thabani Mthiyane said harmonising African airspace was “a concrete way of improving the smoothness and cost-efficiency of the entire air traffic service chain”.

“The ability to safely handle more than half-a-million air traffic movements a year requires the deployment of sophisticated technology to ensure that there is sufficient capacity to ensure the safe and efficient gate-to-gate operations in the overall process of aircraft departure to arrival.”

Some of the topics set for discussion during the five-day conference include mitigation strategies for “runway incursions andexcursions”. – Francis Hweshe

Tags: Civil Aviation Navigation Services Organisation, Phindi Gwebu, SACAA, Sindisiwe Chikunga, South African Civil Aviation Authority, Thabani Mthiyane

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