Wednesday, August 20, 2008

SA pilots' grading scrutinised

Affirmative action is a rubbish liberal concept that has no place in society.

Affirmative action promotes the weak over the strong, mediocrity over achievement.

There is never an instance where the colour of a person’s skin should be a factor in determining selection and that would apply to a black boss employing another race and vice versa.

If people choose to overlook merit in favour of skin colour then that should be their prerogative and they must be free to do so. After all it only affects them if they pick the lesser qualified candidate.

Affirmative action also leads to disillusionment, antagonism and contributes to a polarisation of the races.

One instance where affirmative action should definitely never be applied is in the commercial airline industry where the lives of hundreds of people are at stake every time a pilot takes the controls of an airliner.

As with all matters in the New! Improved! SA!, what was once a proud aviation tradition is at risk of being lost with the Americans having second thoughts about the standard of our pilots and planes. Why am I not surprised?

Already any higher qualification coming out of South Africa is deemed worthless, be it a university degree (unless it is well pre-1994) or a driver's license.
For those aspiring migrants to Australia, be prepared to re-do your driver's licenses (except Western Australia), a timely reminder of how little the outside world values paperwork emanating from SA.

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The international recognition of all South African pilots could be in danger due to the possible downgrade of the South African Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) by the USA's Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Due to the shortage of inspectors that test the flight worthiness of aeroplanes and issue and reassess pilots' licences, the FAA had considered downgrading the CAA in January already.

The CAA was however awarded a six-month postponement after appeals from Colin Jordaan, a former head of the SAA who had then just been appointed as the executive head of the CAA.

Since then, Jordaan has been working ceaselessly for the CAA to maintain its status. This shortage of inspectors came to light during an audit by the FAA that was done at the CAA's head office in Midrand last year - just like the audit done at SAA's technical department which exposed a dangerous skills shortage.

A downgrade will have disastrous effects on South African aviation, the country's biggest magazine for pilots, SA Flyer, wrote in its latest edition. It would mean a dramatic decrease in the international recognition of South African pilots' licences, that aeroplaines' air worthiness-certificates won't be worth much abroad, and that SAA won't be able to develop its routes to America.

A leader from an FAA delegation which visited the CAA in January, brought with him a letter which informed the CAA of the downgrade. Jordaan convinced him and the other delegates to give the CAA six months to recover.

According to an interview with SA Flyer, it was the first time in the history of the FAA that a downgrade of an airline regulatory authority was issued but not awarded to the involved authority.

Transport minister Jeff Radebe has since ensured that Jordaan gets a sufficient budget to lure back skilled inspectors, who are in demand worldwide. More than 80 of them have been hired in the last few months.

2 Opinion(s):

Anonymous said...

No, Western Australia will need you to obtain a WA drivers license within 3 months. As South Africa is not a 'recognised' country you will have to do the complete theory + practical test.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the update. West Australia must have in with the rest of the country then. I know that about 5-6 years ago, they still recognised SA licenses but apparently have changed their minds since.