Aviation sector is recovering well post COVID-19 period: Chikunga

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Transport Minister Sindisiwe Chikunga confirmed that the aviation sector is recovering well post the COVID-19 period and showing substantially growth. To further improve the sector, significant changes have been implemented and took effect from February this year on the air service licensing councils.

Chikunga briefed the media in Pretoria earlier on Tuesday. She was joined by the Airports Company South Africa (ACSA), the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) and the Air Traffic and Navigation Services.

The Transport Minister and entities were reflecting on the state of aviation in the country. The minister announced a newly established Aviation Appeals Committee.

“I am excited to announce to you that the domestic and international air service licensing councils are now being administered by the regulator, with effect from 1 February 2024. This means that all administrative support will include developing effective systems that will enable the smooth processing of air service license applications and Foreign Operator Permits (FOPs) and includes the issurance and storage of related information thereof. The Department of Transport will still be responsible for the budget allocation to the respective Councils for each financial year and such allocation shall be used towards the activities and functions of the Councils,” says Chikunga.

The changes will improve efficiencies. Safety and security have also been prioritised to prevent any criminal activity at airports. ACSA is also strengthening measures to address challenges with passenger luggage.

According to the minister, the past three years has been the busiest period for the civil aviation sector.

The minister also announced ACSA tariff increases.

South Africa also performed very well in all aviation related audits, putting the country as one of the best in the world.

The country has recorded a 0% fatal accident rate in the commercial airlines sector for nearly four decades.