Air Services Licensing Council takes legal advice on its unlawful BEE requirements

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The Air Services Licensing Council (ASLC) is knee-deep in trouble over its unlawful BEE requirements and is now asking Sakeliga for time to seek legal advice.

The ASLC is a statutory body that must grant licenses to air service companies subject to operational, safety, and liability requirements.

Sakeliga revealed at the end of last year that the ASLC is pressuring air services companies to indicate their “commitment to transformation” and “increasing their promise of participation in B-BBEE” before they are to be awarded licenses. Our lawyers warned the council in December to halt this conduct and limit itself to the regulatory duties it is lawfully authorised to carry out.

Sakeliga will allow the ASLC time to obtain its legal advice. If proper, that advice will confirm to the ASLC that there is no basis in law for making race, transformation, or B-BBEE a prerequisite for air services licences. The relevant legislation, such as the Air Services Licensing Act (115 of 1990), focuses – as it should – exclusively on operational aspects, safety and accountability.

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In the meantime, we continue to insist that the ASLC immediately stop the abuse and manipulation of licensing processes for purposes of BEE. The ASLC’s actions are outside the scope of its powers, unconstitutional, and unlawful. It also compromises local aviation safety and commercial freedom by introducing licencing criteria that have nothing to do with operational standards and accountability.

Any air carrier under pressure from the ASLC regarding BEE is invited to approach Sakeliga directly or via their industry organisations. In the meantime, we recommend that aviation role players remain firm and do not give in to unlawful demands.

Sakeliga thanks role players and experts in the industry who assist us with information and advice.

Argiewe