That the SA Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is making inroads into people from all walks of the aviation sector is apparent in 95 criminal cases opened between January 2013 and last month.
In 2012 actions taken by CAA, largely as a result of information supplied anonymously, saw 73 criminal cases started well up from the previous year’s 32.
This week the Midrand-headquartered Department of Transport agency notched up another one when a Congolese national found himself facing charges of forgery in the Kempton Park Magistrate’s Court.
His arrest follows a tip-off that he was using a forged South African commercial pilot’s licence to obtain revalidation of his licence issued in the DRC. He was arrested at a simulator facility where he was apparently building up simulator time as part of the revalidation process.
“The CAA is working closely with the DRC Civil Aviation Authority in order to ensure this individual, and others like him, does not get to sit in the cockpit anytime soon. Selfish and callous individuals such as him taint the reputation of the aviation industry. We hope, at the end of this process, he is made to face the full might of the law and others will learn about the consequences of this sort of criminal behaviour,” Director of Civil Aviation, Poppy Khoza said.
If convicted the accused can be fined up to R50 000, face 10 years in jail, or both.
Criminal cases apart those found guilty of contravening CAA regulations have had, among others, certificates or airworthiness and medical certificates withdrawn; issued penalty notices and warning letters and had licences, approvals, certificates and approvals suspended, downgraded or cancelled.
Khoza said people in the aviation industry and members of the public who made use of the CAA channels created to report “unbecoming” aviation behaviour was “laudable”.
Tip-offs Anonymous (0800 997 263) or [email protected] and the Confidential Hazard Reporting System ([email protected] or 011 545 1453 (fax) or 011 545 1242 (telephone)) can be used to report incidents.