Editorial staff
2 minute read
15 Feb 2021
5:31 am

Don’t let racism cloud air safety

Editorial staff

The lives of people – passengers and plane crew – in the air is too important to allow race to cloud an impartial judgment.

File picture. Boeing 737 Max airplanes sit parked at the company's production facility on November 18, 2020 in Renton, Washington. The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) today cleared the Max for flight after 20 months of grounding. The 737 Max has been grounded worldwide since March 2019 after two deadly crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia. Picture: David Ryder/Getty Images/AFP

Predictably, the issues about whether South Africa’s aviation regulator is being properly run in line with international regulations – and whether there could be a developing safety issue in the sector – has degenerated into racial acrimony. Last week, African Pilot magazine editor Athol Franz claimed that poor accident investigations, bribery and incompetence have sent the South African Civil Aviation Authority (Sacaa) into a tailspin. This is despite the fact that Sacaa director Poppy Khoza earns a staggering R5.7 million, including performance bonuses. Franz said that, in 2017, an audit found that the accident investigation unit shared offices with Sacaa...