The Civil Aviation of Solomon Islands and the Pacific Aviation & Security Organisation (PASO) yesterday presented to the CEO of Solomon Airlines, Captain Ron Sumsum, with the very first Approved Maintenance Organisation (AMO) Part 145 Certificate.

The occasion was a historic one in that the AMO Part 145 Certificate is the first of such certificate to be issued in the Solomon Islands.

The AMO Part 145 Certificate will ensure that the National Carrier achieve a better and more accountable system of Maintenance Organisation not otherwise seen before in Solomon Islands.

This will also ensure that the National Carriers' manuals and system of Maintenance meet the new Solomon Islands Civil Aviation Act 2008 governed by the newly applied New Zealand Rules and Regulations recently enacted by the Parliament of Solomon Islands.

George Satu, the Chief Flight Standards Officer of CAASI said that he was happy with the progress made by Solomon Airlines and congratulated the Maintenance Manager, Trevor Palmer, and his Quality Assurance Manager, John Ross, and all the Maintenance Team for their fine achievement.

George Satu stated that in addition to the milestone achievement CAASI have also passed to Solomon Airlines its Air Operators Certificate (AOC), which is valid to December 2009 or until further reviews. The AOC is the operating licence for Solomon Airlines to maintain operations in its Domestic network.

The new Rules and Regulations will replace the old UK based system used in Solomon Islands for many years.

Max Foon from PASO said that "both CAASI and PASO are proud of this little organisation in Honiara who have taken on board the mandatory change processes and have adapted themselves to moving this change forward into a new era of compliance and certification processes which now takes into account the new rules which have already been adopted in Vanuatu and PNG for some years now."

Solomon Airlines' CEO Captain Ron Sumsum paid special tribute to the good working relationship between the National Carrier and CAASI together with PASO and congratulated his team of Engineers and Maintenance personnel on a job well done.

"The approval under Part 145 virtually means that the role of the AMO is now very defined and under this certification process the Maintenance Organisation can now bid for and operate as a stand-alone Maintenance organisation applying for outside work and enjoying the fruits of operating a separate business within the company governed by the approvals it has rightfully gained as of this date," Captain Sumsum said.

"The job is not completed yet and we still have room for improvement."

In attendance at the small ceremony, held at the Engineering and Maintenance hangar at Henderson airport, was the Minister of Communication and Aviation, new Permanent Secretary, Jeffrey Wickham, Director of Civil Aviation Mr Ben Kere and other Airline Managers and employees.