11 April 2019 - NW786
Matsepe, Mr CD to ask the Minister of Transport
Whether, with reference to aircraft model Boeing 737 MAX 8 which crashed this month in Ethiopia and over the Java Sea in October 2018, (a) the SA Civil Aviation Authority is undertaking an audit of all aircraft of this model landing and departing any airports in the country, (b) what (i) is being done in this regard taking the recent two crashes into account and (ii) investigations are undertaken and (c) on what date will the results of such investigations be made available?
South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA)
The South African Civil Aviation Authority (a) identified one operator, namely Comair that currently has one (1) Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft in its fleet and the second aircraft was yet to be delivered when the accident occurred. Only one foreign operator used and flew this aircraft model into South Africa, namely Ethiopian Airlines.
(b) (i) the SACAA engaged Comair following the Ethiopian airline crash and the operator voluntarily grounded its affected aircraft. Ethiopian airlines also voluntarily grounded its Boeing 737 MAX 8 fleet. Ordinarily, the Department of Transport issues a Foreign Operator Permit, on recommendation of the SACAA, to all foreign airlines intending to fly into South Africa and through this mechanism, the Authority would know the model of aircraft intended to be flown into the country and would implement and enforce any existing national or adopted airworthiness directives, etc. It is important to note that with regards to this matter, the State of design and manufacturing, i.e. the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), has subsequently issued a directive grounding all Boeing 737 MAX 8 & 9 aircraft globally until further notice.
(ii) currently no investigations are being conducted by RSA’s Aircraft and Incident Investigation Division because South Africa is not the State of Occurrence or Registry of the two accidents; RSA suffered no fatalities in the two accidents and RSA has not yet been requested to participate or assist in the investigation.