Fireblade Aviation Pty Ltd statement
10 May 2018
Fireblade Aviation has noted recent comments by Minister Gigaba to Parliament's Home Affairs Committee and the statement put out by the ANC Study Group on Home Affairs in relation to Fireblade’s operations at O R Tambo International Airport and believe that certain matters need to be clarified.
The Fireblade fixed base operation facility ('FBO') is not a private facility for the benefit of a private family. It is a portal available to anyone flying on a non-commercial flight, subject to the fact that any flight which wishes to use the Fireblade facility will first need to get the necessary permission from the South African Government to enter South Africa.
Customs and Immigration services are provided at Fireblade by Government employees and take place in a sterile zone not accessible by Fireblade personnel. This is the same situation that prevails at Lanseria and Kruger International Airports, both of which are privately owned. Government provides these services at Lanseria and Kruger International for no cost to the operator while at Fireblade, immigration services rendered at the Fireblade facility are charged to Fireblade.
Around the world, at almost all major airports there are FBO facilities similar to Fireblade and the majority are privately owned.
All these matters are fully covered in the various affidavits lodged with the courts by all parties and referenced in judgments, firstly by Judge Potterill in the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria then by the full bench of the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria under Judge Tuchten and finally by the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein.
These courts found that a proper procedure, which spanned a period of approximately four years, had been followed. The Constitutional Court also dismissed Home Affairs' initial application for leave to appeal. In all these courts the judges found in favour of Fireblade. All the affidavits and judgments are in the public domain and can be accessed by interested parties.
Statement issued by Louise Brugman on behalf of Fireblade Aviation Proprietary Limited, 10 May 2018