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SACAA disagrees with Ethiopian AIID – Appeals Accident Report

MEDIA STATEMENT BY SACAA

26 January 2022

Johannesburg – The South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) has noted the
release and publication of the final accident investigation report on the ZS-CAR accident
which took place on 23 January 2020 and tragically claiming the lives of three of its
employees.

 

The Minister of Transport, Honourable Fikile Mbalula, handed over the investigation into
the accident involving the Flight Inspection Unit (FIU) crew and aircraft to an
independent investigator. The move by the Minister followed the request by the families
of the deceased employees to hand over the investigation to an independent party as a
result of the perceived proximity of the Aircraft Accident and Incident Investigation
Division (AIID), the Regulator and the Operator (FIU) which they believed may
compromise the integrity of the investigation. As a result, the Minister appointed the
Ethiopian Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau (AAIB), to take over the investigation
in full. The SACAA supported and welcomed this decision and cooperated fully with the
investigators and their process.

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Annex 13 and Part 12 of the Civil
Aviation Regulations (CARs) outlines the procedures for conducting aircraft accident
investigations and in this regard Part 12.05.1 (4) of the CARs states that “The Executive
responsible for aircraft accident and incident investigation shall send the draft final
report to the investigation for comments to the State of Registry, State of the Operator,
the Operator, the State of Design, organisation responsible for the final assembly of the
aircraft and any other State that participated in the investigation. In this case, the
AAIB would send the draft final report for comments given the fact that the investigation
was delegated to them in full. Part 12 further states that … (5) The State or organisation
referred to in sub-regulation (3) and (4) shall be given a period of 60 days from the
date of transmission of the draft final report, within which to make comments therein.”
The SACAA confirms that the independent investigators invited comments from the
SACAA (the Regulator representing the State of Registry and State of Operator) and
the Flight Inspection Unit (the Operator) on the draft final report on 29 August 2021.
The comments were duly submitted to the Ethiopians through the Department of
Transport on 05 October 2021, with further engagements on the submissions made until
04 November 2021.

The SACAA and the Operator upon studying the Report have noted with concern that
the report published on Sunday, 23 January 2022, contains stark differences with the
report shared with affected Parties on 29 August 2021. In both the Regulator and the
Operator’s preliminary observations, the published report contains new information and
subsequent findings which differ materially from the information contained in the draft
report, to which the Regulator and Operator were not given an opportunity to comment.
The SACAA and the Operator have also noted gross mistakes and inaccurate references
to the CARs in the new findings, which compromise the integrity and accuracy of the
report. The SACAA and Operator are in possession of evidence that will refute the new
information in the final report and if considered will satisfactorily address the new
findings.

The publishing of the final report without the comments from the Operator and the
Regulator is unprocedural and inconsistent with the ICAO prescripts and CARs. The
SACAA has taken a decision to appeal the report to the Minister of Transport and is
requesting for the reopening of the investigation to allow the Regulator and the Operator
time to duly comment on the new information and findings in the final report on which
they were not consulted by the investigating authority. This is in line with the provisions
of the International Civil Aviation Organization’s Annex 13, read with clause 10.9 of
ICAO DOC 9963 as well as Part 12.05.3 of the Civil Aviation Regulations, 2011.

The SACAA and Operator will therefore reserve any further comments and will not
engage on the details of the current report until the application process to the Minister
of Transport is concluded. The Regulator commits to playing its part in expediting the
finalisation of this process by cooperating with the investigators in full and in a speedy
manner. The Regulator is mindful that further delays only serve to prolong the process
of closure for the affected parties particularly the families of the deceased.
The SACAA’s mandate is to regulate civil aviation safety and security and the Regulator
takes this responsibility very seriously, and will continue to uphold the highest standards
of safety and security. This commitment does not only apply to the Regulator’s oversight
responsibility towards the industry but it also extends to the Regulator’s own conduct.
ENDS

Issued by the South African Civil Aviation Authority

 

About the SACAA

The South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) is a Schedule 3A public entity reporting to
the Department of Transport established in terms of the Civil Aviation Authority Act, 2009 (Act
No 13 of 2009) (the Act). In terms of mandate, the SACAA is tasked with promoting and
maintaining a safe, secure, and sustainable civil aviation environment, by regulating and
overseeing the functioning and development of the industry in an efficient, cost-effective, and
customer-friendly manner according to international standards. The SACAA is governed and
controlled by the Civil Aviation Authority Board.

About ICAO

ICAO works with its 193 Member States and industry groups to reach consensus on international
civil aviation Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) and policies in support of a safe,
efficient, secure, economically sustainable, and environmentally responsible civil aviation sector.
These SARPs and policies are used by ICAO Member States to ensure that their local civil aviation
operations and regulations conform to global norms.

For more information contact:
Daphney Chuma
Tel: 011 545 1600, Mobile Number: 067 415 4014, Email: chumad@caa.co.za

Teresa Jenkins
Mobile Number: 083 399 4494, Email: teresa@lithacommunications.co.za

 

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