DoT to jig aviation industry oversight


The Department of Transport will over the next six months embark on an intensive and accelerated programme aimed at addressing all the challenges facing the aviation industry. The department’s director-general, George Mahlalela, on Thursday met with stakeholders in the aviation industry to present the proposed road map, as well as to receive input from the industry.

Briefing reporters about the outcomes of the meeting in Pretoria, Mahlalela said: “To this end, the Department of Transport has developed a proposed road map to address shortcomings in the current economic regulatory framework of the regulated entities. This exercise has been necessitated by different interpretations of both the Airport Company South Africa (ACSA) and the Air Traffic and Navigation Services (ATNS) Acts in both principles and procedural matters.
“Over the next six months, we will be involved in an intensive and accelerated programme addressing all the existing gaps in the aviation industry.”

According to Mahlalela, the new road map provides for the formulation and promulgation of regulations to support the purposes and the intentions of the Acts, the state BuaNews agency reports. He said the exercise will be done in consultation with ACSA, ATNS as well as aviation industry stakeholders. Mahlalela further said the road map also provides for the review of the funding model of all these regulated entities.

This process is expected to be completed by the end of December this year, in support of the next permission cycle to commence in 2012. “It is clear that broader review of the economic regulatory framework within the transport industry, including the aviation sector, is necessary to enable more predictable, transparent and balanced economic regulatory frameworks going forward. This will play a critical role in the facilitation of the implementation of the integrated transport master plan,” he said.

Mahlalela said they remain committed to a more stable, predictable and transparent economic regulatory environment conducive to continued strong growth of the aviation sector. “In this regard, we are working towards establishing a full-time Transport Economic Regulator to assist us to move away from an ad hoc approach. This will allow for improved planning, coordination and efficiency,” he said.

Today’s gathering also established a Steering Committee to be chaired by Mahlalela to drive the process forward. The committee will meet bi-weekly. Mahlalela also confirmed that ACSA’s managing director, Monhla Hlahla, and finance director, Priscillah Mabelane would be leaving the company soon. Mabelane is leaving at the end of September, while Hlahla’s tenure will end in three months’ time, BuaNews says.