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

 

'We are not going to worship Geingob'

5 days 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

5 days 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...

World turns on Boeing

6 days ago - 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...

TransNamib property worth N$2.4 billion

1 week 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

1 week 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

1 week 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

1 week 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

1 week 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...

Air Namibia unable to escape N$350m storm

1 week ago - 08 March 2019 | Transport

Air Namibia's attempts to directly engage Challenge Air SA over a N$350 million debt have suffered another setback, as attempts by their Belgian lawyer to...

Major developments in logistics

1 week ago - 08 March 2019 | Transport

Although Namibia's logistics sector grew by 16.1% between 2007 and 2017, major developments are needed if the country is to become a logistics hub for...

Latest News

Africa Briefs

3 hours ago | Economics

No end date for Eskom’s power cutsSouth Africa's public enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan said yesterday he cannot say yet when rolling blackouts will end, as...

Cob plundering suspects nabbed

3 hours ago | Crime

Leandrea Louw Two men arrested on Saturday for allegedly being in possession of 60 large cob made their first appearance in the Walvis Bay Magistrate’s...

Unfinished pipeline impacts 7 000...

3 hours ago | Infrastructure

About 6 932 people and 33 790 large and 18 395 small stock units are facing thirst, as the agriculture ministry battles to finish the...

Apple unveils new iPad, updates...

3 hours ago | Technology

Sonam RaiApple Inc, in a surprise move on Monday, launched a new 10.5-inch iPad Air and updated its iPad Mini ahead of a March 25...

Climate change and productivity

3 hours ago | Agriculture

Climate change is a long-term change in climatic/weather patterns of the earth or region. Such change is observed in temperature and rainfall patterns, amongst others....

Palladium hits record high

3 hours ago | Business

Palladium surged to a record yesterday as the risk of a ban on some Russian exports added to supply concerns for the autocatalyst metal. Spot...

State supports non-compliant security firms

3 hours ago | Business

Employers and trade unions agree that one of the major issues facing the Namibian security services industry is that some government institutions continue to appoint...

Company news in brief

3 hours ago | Business

Steinhoff ex-chairman open to talksFormer Steinhoff chairman and top shareholder Christo Wiese is open to negotiations over his US$4 billion claim against the company, he...

Agri ministry sidesteps timber issues

3 hours ago | Agriculture

The ministry has sidestepped key questions on whether it will re-implement the ban on the export of unprocessed timber until a local value addition processing...

Load More