Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Man arrested for forging South African commercial pilot's license

Johannesburg - A Congolese national has appeared before the Kempton Park Magistrate Court on charges of forging a South African commercial pilot’s license.

His arrest follows an anonymous alert to the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA). 

Preliminary investigations have revealed that the 33-year-old man allegedly used the forged South African commercial pilot’s license to get a revalidation of a commercial pilot license which was issued by the Democratic Republic Congo's Civil Aviation Authority. 

The man was arrested in Kempton Park whilst trying to conduct a simulator training in order to keep his fraudulent DRC-issued commercial pilot’s license valid. 

“The SACAA is working closely with the DRC Civil Aviation Authority in order to ensure that this unscrupulous individual, and any other like him, does not get to sit in the cockpit anytime soon,” said SACAA’s Director of Civil Aviation, Poppy Khoza. 

She added that they hoped he would face the full might of the law, so that any others considering similar offenses can be aware of the dire consequences they would face. 

If convicted, the accused could face a monetary penalty of up to R50 000, or a ten year imprisonment term, or both penalties. 

According to Khoza, the SACAA’s dedicated personnel are doing laudable work in rooting out corruption and unethical behaviour in the civil aviation industry. 

Ninety five cases were administered between January 2013 and March 2014 compared to 73 during the preceding calendar year and 32 in 2011.

Besides opening criminal cases against some of the culprits, lawbreakers were issued with penalty notices and warning letters, whilst some had their various licenses, certificates or approvals suspended, or downgraded, or cancelled. 

Culprits ranged from air traffic controllers through to pilot’s license holders, air operating certificate holders, aircraft maintenance organizations, aviation training schools, aircraft maintenance engineers, aviation security regulated agents, and airport license holders.

Khoza appealed to members of the public and aviation industry to report any unbecoming civil aviation behavior to the SACAA.

She further lauded the whistle-blower and many others who cooperate with the Authority in bringing these matters to the attention of the SACAA, adding that the SACAA will not tolerate any form of unethical conduct by any member of the aviation community. 

"We truly relish the cooperation and would like to record our undertaking that the SACAA will leave no stone unturned in pursuit of preserving aviation safety and the lives of the flying public,” said Khoza. 

Source:   http://m.news24.com