The best in South Africa’s civil aviation sector were honoured for their excellence at the Civil Aviation Industry Awards (CAIA) at Modderfontein in Gauteng on November 10.
The CAIA ceremony was organised by the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) rewarding aviation sector excellence and compliance, including the Public Vote award.
The awards were the third instalment of the awards ceremony since it was first held in 2018 after the awards were put on hold for three years due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The director of civil aviation, Poppy Khoza, highlighted that the purpose of these awards is to bring together the aviation industry and their partners in other industries that they interact with to showcase, recognise and celebrate those members of the industry who have shown consistency and commitment in promoting aviation safety, security, environmental sustainability, transformation, innovation, research, and development, among others.
According to SACAA, there were 18 overall categories that were on offer at the glitzy ceremony, where FlySafair, OR Tambo International, ExecuJet, King Shaka International Airport and Cape Town International Airport emerged as winners for the night.
FlySafair scooped five awards, including the prestigious National Company of the Year, Best Airline Operator/Airline, Aviation Maintenance Organisation Award: Medium – Large, Aviation Professional and Best Airline Award voted for by members of the public.
Kirby Gordon, the chief marketing officer at FlySafair, said that FlySafair is honoured to be recognised by industry peers and the public for their contribution to the aviation sector in South Africa.
“We are proud of the dedication and work that our team has put into keeping FlySafair an industry leader. These accolades are a testament to our ongoing commitment to deliver excellent service to our customers at all times,” said Gordon.
ExecuJet, one of the country’s largest aircraft operators, also went on to scoop four wins in the categories Aviation Customer Service, Aviation Innovation and Aviation Security, and the People Development awards.
The public also voted for OR Tambo International Airport as the Best Airport and FlySafair as their leading airline of choice.
Other winners for the night included the Air Traffic Navigation Services receiving the Aviation Transformation Award, King Shaka International Airport for the Aviation Sustainability and Environment Award, and Cape Town International winning the Airport Achievement Award.
Minister of Transport Sindisiwe Chikunga congratulated SACAA in celebrating 25 years of existence, in a year where the state recorded a 91.11% rating from the International Civil Aviation Organization.
Following an audit conducted earlier in the year on the country’s aviation oversight systems, South Africa was confirmed as having the best systems on the continent and named among the leading 20 states in the world.
“While there will be a number of men and women who walked up to this stage to collect various forms of recognition, to me, everyone who have entered these awards has contributed one way or the other to the state of aviation safety and security in South Africa,” said Chikunga.