Russia revokes AOC of Dagestan Airlines for safety reasons

December 19, 2011

Dagestan Airlines Tupolev Tu-154, (c) Dmitriy Pichugin

The Russian Federal Air Transport Agency Rosaviatsia revoked the Air Operator Certificate of Dagestan Airlines following safety issues and lack of financial resources.

Russian regional carrier Dagestan Airlines has been under scrutiny since an accident in December 2010. Two passengers died when a Tupolev 154 crashed during an  emergency landing at Moscow-Domodedovo Airport, Russia.

The Interstate Aviation Committee found significant violations in the organization of flight operations of the airline, aircraft maintenance, pilot training, issues of work and rest hours of crews, and other shortcomings in the airline, having a systemic character. The Commission also found that there were counterfeit parts installed on the accident plane.

During 2011 the airline did not show progress in dealing with those issues. Ramp inspections carried out by foreign aviation authorities revealed gross violations of flight safety and lack of a timely management response to the comments received. In particular, the inconsistencies identified at Ras al-Khaimah Airport (UAE) and Istanbul (Turkey) on a Tu-154 passenger jet showed a recurrence of  safety findings. For instance, the pilot’s proficiency in the English language was insufficient.

During an audit in December quality deficiencies were again identified. The results of the audit showed that the  management of Dagestan Airlines was unable to correct systemic weaknesses in the airline, which negatively affects the state of the safety of its aircraft and poses a direct threat to life and health of the passengers, according to Rosaviatsia.

These findings, and the fact that the airline is experiencing a significant shortage of financial resources, forced Rosaviatsia to revoke the airline’s AOC.

The airline was established in February 1927 as the Makhachkala department of Aeroflot, North Kavkaz Civil Aviation Directorate. In 1994, following the split-up of Aeroflot, it became known as Makhachkala Air Enterprise. In 1996, the company was rebranded as Dagestan Airlines.


Zambian authorities suspend Zambezi Airlines’ AOC over safety issues

November 3, 2011

Effective November 1, 2011 Zambezi Airlines was grounded by the Zambian Minister of Transport, Works and Supply.

The Air Operator Certificate was suspended because the airline “posed a risk to passengers” as it operated outside Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) guidelines. A government spokesman reported that the airline employed air crew staff that had not been cleared by the DCA. Also, it failed to report an incident on a local flight and allowed pilots to work beyond the stipulated work schedule. Local and international routes were flown with aircraft that had faulty oxygen masks.

The ban may be lifted when the airline has corrected all issues within six to eight weeks.

The airline was founded in 2008 and operated three Boeing 737-500 passenger jets on regional services.


Transport Canada suspends Missinippi Airways’ Air Operator Certificate

October 24, 2011

Transport Canada has suspended Missinippi Airways’ Air Operator Certificate, effective October 21, 2011 at 11:59 p.m. CDT for safety reasons.

This action is based on safety concerns due to deficiencies with the company’s Operational Control System identified during Transport Canada’s inspection. This inspection was scheduled to confirm that corrective actions put in place following a previous suspension in July were working effectively. On July 4 the airline suffered a fatal accident when a Cessna 208B Grand Caravan crashed on takeoff from Pukatawagan Airport, MB (XPK), killing one passenger.

Transport Canada consulted with Missinippi Airways throughout the period leading up to the suspension. This suspension does not rule out further regulatory action. Transport Canada will continue to work with Missinippi Airways. The company must demonstrate that it meets all applicable safety regulations before Transport Canada will reissue its Air Operator Certificate.

More information:



Authorities suspend AOC of Dutch operator Solid-aiR

September 28, 2011

The Dutch Transport and Water Management Inspectorate (IVW) has suspended the AOC of  operator Solid-aiR for safety reasons.

Effective September 28, 2011 the Air Operator Certificate (AOC) of Solid-aiR is suspended for a period of three months. During a safety audit the Inspectorate found several shortcomings with regards to crew training and defect reporting. Also, violations were found of duty and rest schedules for pilots, incident reporting and violations in flight operations.

The Inspectorate states that these findings were serious and of a structural nature, leading to the suspension. The suspension will be lifted when the company successfully demonstrates its ability to conduct safe operations.

According to the Dutch civil aircraft register, the airline operates one Bombardier Challenger 850, one Cessna 525 CitationJet, two  Cessna 550 Citation Bravo’s, one Cessna 560 Citation V, fourCessna 650 Citation VI’s, one Dassault Falcon 900, one Piaggio P.180 Avanti, and one Raytheon Premier 1.

More information:

Tiger Airways suspension lifted

August 10, 2011

The Civil Aviation Safety Authority has lifted the suspension of Tiger Airways Australia Pty Ltd, effective from Wednesday 10 August 2011.

This follows a thorough investigation by CASA into safety issues within Tiger Airways Australia.

As a result of the investigation and consistent with previous actions taken by CASA, a new set of conditions has been imposed on Tiger Airways Australia’s air operator’s certificate.

These conditions address key areas of operational importance within Tiger Airways and will underpin ongoing improvements in the airline’s safety performance. To continue to operate Tiger must comply with the conditions while they are in place.

Areas the conditions cover include:

  • pilot training and proficiency
  • pilot rostering and fatigue management
  • currency and revision of operational manuals and related documents
  • improved change-management processes and the appointment of additional qualified personnel in key positions
  • amendments to the airline’s safety management system

Tiger Airways Australia was required to demonstrate it had complied with the necessary safety requirements before it was permitted to resume operations.

These requirements included additional simulator and ground training for Tiger’s pilots.

The number of sectors Tiger Airways may fly is initially limited to a maximum of 18 a day during August 2011. Increased operations after August will be subject to CASA approval.

CASA suspended the air operator’s certificate of Tiger Airways Australia on 2 July 2011.


Accident airlines Hewa Bora and Rusair grounded by authorities

July 15, 2011

Two airlines involved in recent fatal accidents were grounded by authorities. 

Media in D.R.Congo reported that the Congolese government has suspended, Wednesday, July 13, the air operating license (AOC) of Hewa Bora Airways, pending the outcome of the investigation launched into the crash of a Boeing 727 on July 8 at Kisangani. A spokesman for the Ministry of Transport said that the decision to withdraw the operating license was taken due to recurring accidents involving this airline.

In a similar move, Russia’s Federal Air Transport Agency (Rosaviatsia)  suspended the AOC of Rusair following a plane crash on June 21 that killed 47 people. A Tupolev 134 of the airline crashed near Petrozavodsk Airport in Russia. A spokesman reported to RIA-Novosti: “Due to violations revealed during an investigation, the operator’s license has been suspended.”


FAA revokes Bimini Island Air Operating Certificate

July 11, 2011

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has revoked the operating certificate of Bimini Island Air (BIA) of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., an on-demand operator. The FAA issued the emergency order of revocation on June 27 and it took effect immediately.

The FAA alleged BIA advertised and operated 15 scheduled flights between Fort Lauderdale and the Bahamas in March and April, 2011, using a 30-seat Saab 340-A twin-turboprop aircraft. BIA is not authorized to use a 30-seat aircraft for scheduled flights.

The FAA also alleged BIA offered and advertised scheduled flights on the 30-seat plane, including the departure location and time and arrival location. The FAA said BIA operated as a scheduled airline rather than as an on-demand service when it provided those flights.

Scheduled airlines are governed by rules different than those for charter operators or on-demand services.

Bimini Island Air petitioned for review of the emergency nature of the order of revocation, June 30, which also serves as an appeal of the merits of the order. Both the petition and the appeal will be heard by the National Transportation Safety Board. BIA surrendered its operating certificate to the FAA July 1.


Indonesia grounds airline SMAC over safety concerns

February 19, 2011

The Indonesian Directorate General of Civil Aviation suspended the AOC of Sabang Merauke Raya Air Charter (SMAC) following the fatal accident of a CASA C-212 Aviocar operated by SMAC on February 12, 2011.

The CASA Aviocar operated on a test flight from Batam Airport (BTH), Indonesia to Tanjung Pinang (TNJ) after the replacement of an engine. Preliminary investigation results indicated that:

  1. The pilot in command was not qualified for this kind of flight;
  2. No permission was obtain to carry out this test flight; and
  3. A spare engine was carried on board during the test flight.

These findings led the DGCA to suspend the airline’s AOC as a “preventive action”, according to the official statement. The DGCA will conduct a special safety audit of the airline and the airline will remain grounded until further notice.

The airline was added to EU list of banned air carriers on July 4, 2007.


Two Australian air operators suspended

July 24, 2010

The Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) has suspended the air operator’s certificates of Skymaster Air Services and Avtex Air Services. These two charter operators, which share the same ownership, are based at Sydney’s Bankstown airport.

CASA believes allowing Skymaster Air Services and Avtex Air Services to continue to operate while CASA completes further safety investigations poses a serious and imminent risk to air safety.

There have been three serious accidents and a number of incidents involving Skymaster aircraft in the last three months. On 15 June 2010 an aircraft operated by Skymaster crashed at Canley Vale in Sydney, with the pilot and a flight nurse killed. Other accidents include a wheels-up landing and a collapsed nose gear on landing. Incidents include a loss of engine power, fuel flow problems and landing gear malfunctions.

CASA’s decision to suspend Skymaster Air Services and Avtex Air Services is also based on issues relating to the safety culture of the operations, aircraft maintenance control and pilot training.

The suspension of Skymaster and Avtex will end in five business days from Friday 23 July 2010, unless CASA applies to the Federal Court for an order to continue the suspension for up to 40 days. During that time CASA will complete its investigation and determine what further action may need to be taken.

CASA’s actions are separate from the continuing investigation into the Canley Vale accident by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau, the independent Commonwealth transport accident investigator.

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