An Australian aviation expert has revealed that the storming of the South African Airways airliner by the Zambian Police amounts to what he termed as ‘aviation crimes’ which the owners of the plane should pursue with relevant international bodies.
The expert Mr Steve Beaconsfield pointed out that it is safe to conclude that the presence of armed Police on the plane, caused the pilot to momentarily lose authority over the aircraft, and that in itself was a serious matter under the International aviation rules.
Mr Beaconsfield pointed out that the apron at any International Airport is regarded as International territory and has certain protective restrictions.
He said the best the Zambian authorities should have done was to allow Mr Maimane arrive at immigration and then legally raise their areas of concern from there.
Mr Beaconsfield said international passengers and crew in an aircraft are protected by international aviation regulations regardless of whether the plane is in the air or on the ground.
Meanwhile it is reported that the International Air Transport Association (IATA) can ban the Lusaka International Airport over the Zambian Police storming of the South African Aircraft that carried the Democratic Alliance leader Musi Maimane among the passengers in Lusaka.
Aviation industry experts have disclosed that what the PF leadership did by allowing heavily armed police officers to storm the aircraft completely breached the rules of the airline safety requirements regulations.
“Your know an aircraft is like an embassy. Local forces are not allowed to storm it like the Zambian government did through the Zambia Police. The only time such an action can be taken is when their is a request from the airline itself on reasons such as hijacking or a troublesome and dangerous passenger. But in the case of Maimane, he was legally inside the aircraft and he posed no danger to the aircraft and the fellow passengers. What the Zambian security wings through the Zambia Police did was completely unfortunate and caused a serious violation to the requirements of IATA which can lead to the KKIA being banned. infact they can even impose bans to all the Zambian airports in which case Zambian citizens would have to be disembarking from neighbouring countries such as Malawi and Zimbabwe,” impeccable sources from the Ministry of Transport and Communication have revealed to the Zambian Eagle.
They say the law was very clear on what should be done if an aircraft is carrying a prohibited person.
What the Zambian government were supposed to do was to allow Maimane to disembark and be taken to the immigration authorities and later be deported back in same flight or the next flight.