Storm wind in Madagascar in the private civil aviation sector. For several months, several private aviation companies on the island have been forced to lower the curtain, for lack of obtaining the documents required to navigate and carry out the maintenance of their aircraft. Result: a hundred employees on technical unemployment, twenty planes grounded, and bosses and owners of aircraft exasperated by unclear arguments put forward by the Malagasy administration.
With our correspondent in Antananarivo, Sarah Tetaud
On January 23, a Piper, a small plane rented by a private party and belonging to the majority shareholder of one of the largest private airlines in the country, crashed on the island. The pilot dies. The maintenance of the plane being recent, the bad weather conditions are quickly pointed out.
The aviation company is however worried. An audit is carried out, several non-conformities are noted. The same day, the CTA, the Air Carrier Certificate of the company is suspended by the Malagasy civil aviation. Despite the proposals for corrective actions proposed the following days by the company and despite the verbal validations carried out by the inspectors, the suspension was not lifted.
Things go wrong when on May 7, it is the turn of the approval of the company’s maintenance workshop to expire. “ Everything is in order for the renewal of the certificate “, attest several sources within the Malagasy Civil Aviation. ” But the documents are awaiting the signature of the general manager we are told.
For lack of signature, the workshop closes in turn. Problem, it is the only one to be approved to perform the maintenance of devices belonging to individuals and those of other companies. In mid-May, a second company did not obtain the renewal of its certificates; their pilots now risk losing their licenses.
Result: nearly a hundred workers in the sector are now on technical unemployment. About twenty planes find themselves grounded, including school planes. Competition is drastically reduced and the situation suggests the gradual formation of a monopoly of a few companies to operate private flights and medical evacuations.
Contacted, the Director General of Civil Aviation did not wish to speak.