Friday, July 09, 2010

ACSA blames others for soccer semi-final bungle at airport

In this day and age, it is truly difficult to find people, especially companies, that will do the honourable thing and take responsibility for their own bungling of situations. Such a situation happened this week when many fans could not get to the semi-final between Spain and Germany, which Spain won by beating Germany 1-0.

According to ACSA (Airports Company South Africa), the Central Airspace Management Unit system failed, private plane operators took parking spots not allocated to them (our local taxi drivers must've piloted these planes), more planes arrived at the King Shaka's Airport than usual and low clouds prevented planes from landing. The gods must have conspired against the airport on that day!

It is quite understandable that airports could experience difficulties and that things could go wrong. Yet, is it inconceivable to expect such a large organization to have backup plans in situations such as these? When the CAMU system failed, why did they not have an equivalent backup system to kick in when the primary system failed? This was simply bad risk management from the beginning! What can passengers expect when something really serious happens at this or any other airport in South Africa? Do they really have proper risk management systems in place? If so, why did they not work?

Does ACSA have such little authority that private plane operators simply ignored them when told to move? Who was really in charge on the day, ACSA, or plane operators? Is there a system in place through which ACSA can fine or claim back certain losses from these plane operators?

I think it is a shame that these soccer lovers had to miss their game through these so-called problems that ACSA experienced at that time!

Come on ACSA, get your own game together!

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