Outgoing CAA chief full of praise

The South African Civil Aviation Authority’s (CAA) outgoing chief executive, Zakes Myeza, has no plans following his resignation this week.

“I have not decided yet what I am going to do after this,” Myeza said in a statement.

Myeza resigned on Tuesday, just days after the CAA grounded Nationwide airlines for contravening safety regulations.

At the time, the CAA said he was leaving to allow it to unify the positions of CEO and commissioner for civil aviation—in line with the findings of international audits of the industry.

At the moment, the post of acting commissioner for civil aviation is held by Gawie Bestbier.

Myeza said he joined an “almost dysfunctional” CAA 20 months ago, when it had functioned without a permanent chief executive for almost three years.

“When I joined, my biggest challenge was to prepare the organisation for international audits which were announced shortly after my arrival. The board and management developed a turnaround strategy to respond to these challenges and give direction and common focus to the organisation,” Myeza said.

He aggressively addressed the CAA’s skills shortage and introduced a performance management system. Also, technical guidance material and the technical library were revamped, surveillance plans improved and regulations promulgated.

“The organisation performed very well in the recent [International Civil Aviation Organisation] audit, which put the country on the same level as countries such as Germany, New Zealand and Malaysia.

“International benchmarking has proven that for countries to recover from a state of instability to be fully functional with an effective aviation oversight system, it would normally take approximately three years.”

Myeza said that although South Africa still has areas needing attention, it has achieved “huge milestones” within “a record 12-month period”.

He thanked the CAA board for its “faith” in him and the industry for its “unwavering support in our quest to ensure safer skies”.

The CAA said earlier this week that it had “reluctantly” accepted Myeza’s resignation, and described his decision as “regrettable”.
It said the resignation had “nothing to do with” the Nationwide grounding.

The CAA announced on Thursday that Nationwide would resume flights to London on Friday and limited domestic flights on Sunday after it had declared the airline’s Boeing 767 airworthy.

“This will be an interim limited service operated by the Boeing 767, but services will gradually return to normal with the release into service of the airline’s other aircraft—Boeing 737-200s, 737-500s and 727s—in accordance with CAA approval,” the airline said.—Sapa

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