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SACAA studying reports after 44 planes grounded this week

Shoddy maintenance by unqualified technicians was one of the main reasons that led to 44 planes being grounded from three different airlines.

FILE: Passengers were left fuming after delays by the South African Airways, Comair and Mango when some of their fleets failed to meet SACAA compliance standards. Picture: South African Airways.

JOHANNESBURG - The South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) on Thursday said it was in the process of reviewing the evidence submitted by airlines that were grounded this week.

Shoddy maintenance by unqualified technicians was one of the main reasons that led to 44 planes being grounded from three different airlines.

The SACAA said this was necessary to avoid any potential threats to aviation safety.

As the aviation industry attempts to deal with criticism following this week's flight delays and cancellations, SACAA said it was studying reports submitted by the airlines.

Forty of the 44 planes, which are now operating, were grounded because of unqualified personnel who released and signed off on maintenance work.

Passengers were left fuming after delays by the South African Airways, Comair and Mango when some of their fleets failed to meet SACAA compliance standards.

Maintenance checks on flight data recorders were also not done properly.

Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula said this shouldn't happen again.

Meanwhile, SACAA rejected claims that some of its inspectors failed at their jobs, leading to the mass groundings of some commercial flights earlier this week.

SACAA director Poppy Khoza said there was no evidence to support such claims.

Khoza the regulator has a rigorous process to ensure that all personnel are properly trained and capable.
She's urged anyone with evidence to the contrary to bring it forward.

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