Samoa airline hits bumps

Compliance issues stop Inter Island Airways

Plans by the American Samoa based airline Inter Island Airways to enter Fiji’s domestic air service have been delayed by numerous compliance requirements. Although the airline received its license in August 2012 from Fiji’s Air Transport Licensing Board to fly scheduled domestic flights, Inter Island has been forced to delay the commencement of its business for more than a year. Inter Island Airways (Fiji) Limited requires an Air Operating Certificate (AOC) from aviation regulator the Civil Aviation Authority of Fiji (CAAF) before it can begin its flights. The airline has been trying to acquire this compulsory certification but has failed to meet the standards. CAAF Chief Executive Netava Waqa explained that the AOC was one of the few certificates and approvals they issue for start-up operators like Inter Island Airways.

“There are others such as the Certificate of Airworthiness for the aircraft, the licenses for Inter Island Airways pilots and engineers, the approvals for Inter Island Airways check and training pilots, the approvals for Inter Island Airways Operations and Engineering Manual Suite, the maintenance organisation certificate for their facility to conduct maintenance and repair of aircraft, the aviation security programme approval, to name a few,” said Waqa. “All the requirements are stipulated in the Fiji Air Navigation Regulations (FANR), CAA Fiji Standards Documents (CAAFSD) and Fiji National Civil Aviation Security Programme applicable to commercial air transport operators (CATO).”

An AOC is the approval given by CAAF to aircraft operators to allow it to use aircraft for commercial purposes. It requires the operator to have personnel, assets and system in place to ensure the safety of its employees and air travellers. The certificate will list the aircraft type and registrations to be used for what purpose and in what area- specific airport or geographic region. Inter Island Airways is a subsidiary of Aviana Airways Corporation based in Las Vegas in the United States of America. Aviana Airways Corporation and Inter Island Airways (Fiji) Limited President and Chief Executive Officer Barney Sene has not commented on the continuous delays affecting the start of their business in Fiji. However they have stated on their website that the are looking at an early October launch date.

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