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

 

SA's Transnet hijacks Trans-Kalahari rail

1 week ago - 10 May 2019 | Transport

Transnet, South Africa's state rail corporation, has reconvened talks with its counterpart, Botswana Rail, to build a railway line to link the two countries.The move...

Namport impresses Masisi

4 weeks ago - 25 April 2019 | Transport

Botswana President Mokgweetsi Masisi has commended Namibia on its efforts to provide landlocked countries with dry ports.He was speaking during a visit to the Namibia...

Air Namibia board promises major changes

1 month - 12 April 2019 | Transport

The newly appointed Air Namibia board says it realises that “robust” short-and long-term changes are needed to turn around the troubled airline. After recent...

'We are not going to worship Geingob'

2 months ago - 15 March 2019 | Transport

President Hage Geingob has come under heavy fire from taxi boss Werner Januarie after State House cancelled a meeting with Namibian Transport and Taxi Union...

Two NAC execs off the hook

2 months ago - 15 March 2019 | Transport

Two executive managers at the Namibia Airports Company (NAC) appear to have been vindicated following the conclusion of disciplinary processes into alleged corruptive practices at...

TransNamib property worth N$2.4 billion

2 months ago - 13 March 2019 | Transport

TransNamib says it is has not decided whether any of its assets will be sold. Cabinet last year approved a request by the company to...

Taxi drivers want Geingob

2 months ago - 12 March 2019 | Transport

The Namibia Transport and Taxi Union (NTTU) has urged President Hage Geingob to address taxi drivers personally in order to restore their faith in the...

Airline in talks over N$350m debt

2 months ago - 12 March 2019 | Transport

Air Namibia says it is negotiating with Belgian aviation firm Challenge Air SA over the possible payment of over N$350 million for an aircraft it...

Lengthy suspensions discouraged

2 months ago - 11 March 2019 | Transport

The lengthy suspension of four staff members at the Namibia Airports Company has been criticised by transport minister John Mutorwa.When he announced the appointment of...

No decision on Chinese financing

2 months ago - 11 March 2019 | Transport

No decision has been made on who will finance the Hosea Kutako International Airport (HKIA) project, says transport minister John Mutorwa. This contradicts earlier media...

Latest News

Namibian pleads not guilty to...

14 minutes ago | Justice

A Namibian student studying in America has pleaded not guilty to the sexual assault charges he faces, including the exploitation of a minor. In...

Malaria cases drop

14 minutes ago | Health

Cases of malaria have dropped significantly in the two Kavango regions, with only 1 120 cases recorded so far this year, while over 6 000...

Students taken for a ride

14 minutes ago | Columns

The plight of poor Namibian students has always been a hot topic in the media. Many have been barred from writing exams at tertiary institutions...

Worst drought since 1930

14 minutes ago | Disasters

Low rainfall in the Khomas Region has plunged the area around Windhoek into the second worst drought in a century. Several other regions are...

Government woes hit VTC graduations

14 minutes ago | Education

Graduation ceremonies at government vocational training centres have been placed on hold since last year, because of ongoing economic woes. This is according to...

Katrina's lawyer plays political card

14 minutes ago | Justice

Education minister Katrina Hanse-Himarwa, who stands accused of corruption, will hear on Monday, 8 July whether the court has found her guilty. Concluding...

Internships back in govt

14 minutes ago | Government

Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila has directed the lifting of the internship programme ban in the public sector from 1 June.She instructed in a notice that...

Submit forms or face farm...

14 minutes ago | Agriculture

The agriculture ministry has urged farmers to urgently submit their outstanding animal health declaration forms, saying a failure to submit them can result in farm...

Police nab eight drug suspects

14 minutes ago | Crime

Eight suspects were arrested this past weekend for allegedly being in possession of illegal narcotics, including crack cocaine.The majority of the arrests were made in...

Load More