World turns on Boeing

14 March 2019 | Transport

Namibia has joined the growing list of countries that have banned Boeing's B737 MAX 8 aircraft from landing at their airports following a crash in Ethiopia on Sunday that claimed 157 lives.

By yesterday morning, 46 countries, including Namibia, had instituted bans.

However, a commercial flight by the South African airline Comair, which operates British Airways in Southern Africa, still landed its MAX 8 aircraft at Hosea Kutako International Airport on Tuesday afternoon. It also managed to take off from the airport after special permission was apparently granted.

After the crash of the Boeing B737 aircraft operated by Ethiopian Airlines, many countries and jurisdictions grounded it over growing concerns about its safety.

It was the second accident involving this type of aircraft in less than six months. In both instances, the passenger jet crashed shortly after take-off. “In consideration of the primary role of the Namibian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) to protect aircraft passengers and persons on the ground from any aviation safety and security incident, we have decided to take precautionary action to ban the arrival or departure of any Boeing B737 series aircraft from Namibian airports at this time,” said Angelina Simana, the executive director of Namibian Civil Aviation.

Simana said the decision to ban the aircraft was in reaction to the two fatal crashes of the MAX 8 since October 2018 under circumstances that were disturbingly similar, but have not yet been confirmed by accident investigations.

The first crash killed 189 people in Indonesia, while the second crash on Sunday killed 157 passengers and crew in Ethiopia.

“However, Namibia as a Contracting State to the Chicago Convention still observes the mandate under Article 10 of the aforementioned convention to grant all aircraft permission to cross Namibian territory without landing,” said Simana.

The spokesperson of the Namibian Airports Company (NAC), Dan Kamati, confirmed to Namibian Sun that Ethiopian Airlines and British Airways (Comair) operated this type of aircraft in and out of Namibia.

“The measure to suspend the operations of this type of aircraft is purely a decision made by the NCAA as the regulator of civil aviation and air traffic services for Namibia. NAC will continue to cooperate with all stakeholders on the matter for the safety and security of all passengers,” said Kamati. He said it was now up to the airlines that operated these aircraft to make all necessary arrangements to continue their service to the passengers.

Ethiopian Airlines, which has been flying to and from Namibia since 2016, on Monday grounded its Boeing B737 MAX 8 fleet.

Comair also announced at the weekend that it would remove the Boeing B737 Max 8 from its flight schedule. However despite that Comair still flew its aircraft to Namibia on Tuesday.

The airline said neither South African regulatory authorities nor the manufacturer had required it to ground the aircraft.

Comair owns the only Boeing 737 MAX 8 plane currently in operation in South Africa. The plane only started carrying passengers last week after arriving in the country at the end of last month.

Simana yesterday confirmed the landing of the Comair Boeing in Windhoek, but said it was possible that the pilots were unaware of the ban, since it usually took 24 hours for a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) to take effect. The flight data recorder from the Ethiopian wreckage will be sent overseas for analysis, but no country has been chosen, an Ethiopian Airlines spokesman has said.

In an interview with The AssociateELLANIE SMIT

Similar News

 

Air Namibia looks ahead

1 week ago - 13 January 2020 | Transport

While Air Namibia has faced major challenges in 2019, the airline's focus for this year will be the finalisation of its Integrated Strategic Business Plan...

Only one Air Nam route profitable

2 weeks ago - 08 January 2020 | Transport

10 others all making lossesThe national airline has been begging government to relieve it of the Windhoek-Frankfurt route, its biggest loss-making operation, but to no...

Shifeta wants access to Air Namibia probe

1 month - 23 December 2019 | Transport

Tourism minister Pohamba Shifeta says Air Namibia should play open cards in its investigation of a recent incident in which six passengers and two staff...

Air Namibia warns of closure

1 month - 28 November 2019 | Transport

Air Namibia says it will be forced to close down if no bailout package is forthcoming from the Treasury.Finance minister Calle Schlettwein recently expressed doubt...

Calle clips Air Namibia's bailout wings

3 months ago - 24 October 2019 | Transport

Air Namibia will have to fend for itself after finance minister Calle Schlettwein said government cannot afford to give in to the airline's demands for...

Air Namibia a hard sell - Jooste

3 months ago - 16 October 2019 | Transport

Public enterprises minister Leon Jooste says Air Namibia may not be an easy sell, even if the government were to consider selling the embattled airline.This...

Namibia gets ICAO safety certificate

3 months ago - 15 October 2019 | Transport

Namibia received the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) President Certificate in Aviation Security at the organisation's 40th general assembly held in Montreal, Canada, in late...

TransNamib gets N$2.5bn

3 months ago - 14 October 2019 | Transport

TransNamib CEO Johny Smith says Namibian and southern African development banks have approved funding of N$2.5 billion for the parastatal's ambitious business plan that was...

HKIA upgrades start, finally

4 months ago - 17 September 2019 | Transport

The handling capacity of Hosea Kutako International Airport will be doubled by a N$250 million project starting next week to eliminate congestion at Namibia's flagship...

Air Namibia appoints new board chair

4 months ago - 11 September 2019 | Transport

Existing Air Namibia board member Escher Luanda has been announced as the new board chairperson of the embattled national air carrier. Luanda was announced as...

Latest News

Fishrot bribery ring widens

16 hours ago | Crime

While the main accused in the Fishrot bribery scandal await a hearing date in the Supreme Court to challenge their incarceration, another hanger-on, who allegedly...

Learners sent home over broken...

16 hours ago | Education

The over 1 200 learners at Max Makushe Senior Secondary School in the Kavango East Region have been sent home until further notice because of...

Rich man, poor man

16 hours ago | Opinion

For African citizens, the debates and discussions by the elite in Davos seem like a world away.The World Economic Forum (WEF) hosts an annual meeting...

12.5m in SADC face hunger

16 hours ago | Disasters

The number of food insecure people in southern Africa is projected to peak at 12.5 million through March 2020, an increase of 15% compared to...

Parents fume over costly new...

16 hours ago | Education

Parents say the introduction of good-looking school uniforms does not guarantee an improvement in academic performance, behaviour or attendance.Last week, Namibian Sun caught up with...

A beacon of hope

16 hours ago | Education

The Tsintsabis Combined School's feeding programme has received resounding support from stakeholders since its implementation in 2004, acting principal Christalina Narubes said.During an interview at...

'Pay up Samherji'

16 hours ago | Short News

Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) leader McHenry Venaani says Icelandic fishing company Samherji should take responsibility for the thousands of Namibian fishermen who lost their jobs...

Former cop appears for internet...

16 hours ago | Crime

The Walvis Bay Magistrate's Court has denied bail to a 30-year-old former policeman who made his first appearance on charges of internet fraud on Tuesday.Ricardo...

Grand Prix series begins

16 hours ago | Sports

The first Athletics Namibia series event of the year is set to take place this Saturday at the Grootfontein Independence Stadium. The 2020 Grand...

Load More