By EDDIE OSIFELO
CIVIL Aviation Authority of Solomon Islands (CAASI) has allowed the Solomon Airlines chief pilot who is over 65 years old to fly, but not as chief command.
This fact was revealed after a heated debate on social media over the decision by the Airlines management and Board to allow the Chief Pilot to fly the aircraft despite his age.
Chief Executive Officer of SAL, Brett Gebers speaking to the media on Tuesday from Australia said he has approached the International Air Transport Association (IATA) to demonstrate to the satisfaction of CAASI and IATA that this guy was medically fit and able to do the job.
He said this was all done correctly, as at the same time CAASI was supposed to file a difference with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) basically stating that “we, Solomon Islands and our people can fly over the age of 65.”
“It wasn’t done for whatever reasons,” he said.
Gebers said in Australia you cannot fire people for being over the age of 65 and Qantas is in trouble at the moment as they tried to fire a pilot over the age of 65, and who is taking them to court and in this he seems to have won.
He said Civil Aviation Authority of Australia (CASA) basically told them that “because CAASI has not filed a difference, they would not allow the manager of a flight operation to fly as a crew member in and out of Australia”.
“So, we just put another pilot on.
“But the manager of flight operations has indicated to me earlier this year that he wanted to retire in June anyway,” he said.
Gebers said it is not a problem as they are in the process of replacing him.