Africa News Bulletin

Madagascar: The State Grants Special Permission For Helicopter Imports During Electoral Campaign

The civil aviation authorities of Madagascar met the representatives of the candidates yesterday, late in the evening. The importation of helicopters was at the center of discussions.

Green Light! Special arrangements have been made by the Civil Aviation of Madagascar (ACM) for candidates who wish to bring their helicopters into the national territory, in the run-up to the electoral campaign.

The news was announced late yesterday evening by Colonel Damasy Gervais, Director General of Civil Aviation of Madagascar (ACM), in the premises of his establishment, during a meeting with representatives of the candidates. Based on the explanations provided during this particular interview, this would be a “derogation” from the interministerial decree, relating to the introduction and importation of aircraft, and more particularly helicopters.

A theme that has become a subject of debate, raised by public opinion and by the political microcosm. According to the explanations provided by Damasy Gervais, special, derogatory provisions have been taken to simplify the procedure for importing helicopters during this electoral period for candidates who have submitted their files. Indeed, the texts in force indicate that files must be submitted at least two months in advance, through all companies, to be able to be studied by the competent authorities.

Strict control

“If we followed to the letter all the provisions included in this interministerial decree, let’s be honest, no one would be able to import any helicopter. Safety standards are essential, but during this electoral period, we have decided to reconsider certain points,” explains Damasy Gervais to the two representatives of Siteny Randrianasoloniaiko, who is the only candidate to have sent his representatives.

Relief does not mean complacency; the regulatory authorities for aviation safety and security have been strict. No firewall will be blown in terms of security, because the ACM provides for the strictest control.

“We have decided not to apply the two months provided for by the texts as well as certain provisions of the articles, However, we will make a point of closely monitoring compliance with air safety and security standards for these aircraft,” warns the Director General of Civil Aviation, as if to remind everyone of the basic rules.

To which the representatives of candidate number 13, Siteny, respond with an affirmative and attentive nod. So far, there are four candidates who have submitted a request to import helicopters into Madagascar, namely Marc Ravalomanana, candidate of the Tiako i Madagasikara party, Tahina Razafinjoelina, of the Firaisankinan’ny party Tia Tanindrazana, Hajo Andrianarivelo, of Malagasy Miara Miainga, and Siteny Randrianasoloniaiko, from the Mihava Tour.

These candidates, also united within the collective of eleven, who had pointed out certain problems encountered in obtaining helicopters to use in the electoral campaign, now see their lantern lit. “Necessary security procedures, as well as a range of equally rigorous checks to guarantee security”, are the explanations provided by the ACM for the incubation period of requests to this body


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