Civil Aviation Authority; Airports Company of South Africa: briefing

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13 September 2000
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Meeting Summary

A summary of this committee meeting is not yet available.

Meeting report

13 September 2000

Documents Handed Out:
Civil Aviation Authority presentation
Airports Company of South Africa presentation
[email for presentations]
Civil Aviation Authority: Facts and Figures (see Appendix 1)

Civil Aviation Authority Website:

The Civil Aviation Authority and the Airports Company of South Africa briefed the Committee on their present operations and structure of the industry. They also stressed the improvements in the aviation industry, particularly in terms of safety. The question of the inquiry against the Chief Executive officer of the CAA was not dealt with, but left to a later meeting.

Prior to the briefings, the Director-General of the Department of Transport, Mr S. Msikinya, who was present at the meeting, commented that the Civil Aviation Authority and the Airports Company of South Africa had a responsibility to society through the Department of Transport.

Civil Aviation Authority
Ms Stander from the Civil Aviation Authority gave an outline of the Civil Aviation industry. The current size of the industry is as follows:
- 56 foreign airlines fly to South Africa
- 14 000 licensed aviation personnel
- 7 000 aircraft on the SA register
- 141 licensed aerodromes (airports)
- 22 air traffic control facilities
- 350 domestic air service operators

She stated that the key service providers were the Airports Company of South Africa (ACSA) and the Air Traffic and Navigational Services Company (ATNS). ACSA was partially privatised with the shareholding minister being the Minister of Transport. The function of the ATNS was the provision of safe, orderly, speedy and efficient air traffic, navigation and associated services. The ATNS is commercialised with the shareholding minister being the Minister of Transport.

She said that the current role of government in aviation was to:
Ensure safety (through the CAA)
Prevent monopoly abuse (through the regulating committee of the ATNS and ACSA)
Regulate access to the airline industry (through the International Services Council)

She pointed out that the legislation surrounding civil aviation was:
Safety and security (through the Civil Aviation Offences Act and the Air Service Licensing Act)
Economic (through the International Air Services Act and the South African Civil Aviation Levies Act)
Institutional (through the Airports Company Act and the South African Civil Aviation Authority Act)

She listed the achievements of the South African Civil Aviation Industry as follows:
The partial privatisation of ACSA (where 20% has been sold to an international airports company and 10% to Black Empowerment Equity)
The corporatisation of the ATNS
The establishment of the CAA
Increased participation of South Africa in international forums and bodies
Improved security (100% hold baggage screening)
The introduction of the VSAT system (a flight system that ensures co-ordination between the SADC countries)

Mr Niemann (NNP) asked what the relationship was between the CAA and ACSA regarding security

Ms Stander answered that the one of the functions of the CAA is to provide security oversight. She added that an internal security audit happens every six months.

Mr Farrow (DP) asked how the pilot licence examinations are set, who sets them and whether they meet international standards or not

Ms Stander replied that recent events [licensing corruption] have caused the CAA to focus on licences and systems. She said that a new licensing system was being tested at the moment. She added that the CAA in terms of international standards sets examinations, and a shift towards examinations being computer-based is being considered

Mr Currin (DP) asked how often aircraft are inspected

Ms Stander said that the appointment of six new flight inspectors had been approved to improve on safety and maintenance, and so that flights are inspected as regularly as possible

Ms Hlangwana (ANC) asked about the relationship between the CAA and the Department of Transport

Ms Stander replied that the CAA meets with the Department at least once a month and the Chairperson of the board meets with the Minister every six weeks

Mr Slabbert (IFP) asked if rural aerodromes are inspected and if the standards vary from aerodrome to aerodrome

Ms Stander replied that airports are licensed according to different categories. She said that inspections are done in order to issue licences or before licences are issued

Airports Company of South Africa
Mr Vernon Naidoo (Director: Strategic Planning) said that the government currently owns 71% of ACSA since the other acquisitions had not been finalised yet. He said that ACSA does not receive funding from the state, but generates its own income from its activities.

He said that aeronautical tariffs cause air travel to be somewhat expensive, and this was affecting a lot of people. He added that recent studies had shown that Johannesburg International Airport was the most profitable in the world and that ACSA is the third best airport management company in the world.

He said that ACSA holds quarterly meetings with the Department of Transport to facilitate transparency.

Mr Slabbert (IFP) commented on the 7kg limit on hand luggage in aeroplanes.

Mr Naidoo replied that that was a company issue depending on different airlines.

Mr Slabbert (IFP) asked about the developments of the new airport in the North Coast in Kwazulu Natal .

Mr Naidoo replied that the La Mercy airport recommendations would be handed to the Kwazulu Natal provincial government quite soon. He said that ACSA supported the La Mercy case so long as there was a business sense.

Mr Currin (DP) asked what ACSA is doing to promote tourism, since international airports are the first ports of reference for visitors to the country.

Mr Naidoo said that ACSA takes full cognisance that airports are at the forefront of South Africa, and that is why ACSA forwards their statistics to SATOUR so as to enhance tourism. He said that ACSA also works co-operatively with some tourist agencies.

The Chairperson asked about the strategic thinking going on around the restructuring of ACSA, and asked if there were any models being developed.

The Director- General said that the Department was looking at the Australian model, and said that it was important to note when restructuring they had to look at the business case, as well as the socio-economic case. He said issues like job creation and development were being explored.

Appendix 1:
Civil Aviation Authority: Facts and Figures
Establishment of the new Civil Aviation Authority
The South African Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) was established on 1 October 1998 following the enactment of the South African Civil Aviation Authority Act, No.40, in September of the same year. The Act provides for the establishment of a stand-alone authority charged with promoting, regulating and enforcing civil aviation safety and security.

South Africa's aviation safety and security related functions, which were previously performed by the Chief Directorate: Civil Aviation Authority of the National Department of Transport (NDOT), were transferred to the CAA on 1 October 1998, along with the majority of staff who performed these functions.

The creation of the CAA reflects the Government's new priorities of policy development, economic restructuring, addressing social inequalities and reducing the burden on the general taxpayer by expanding the application the "user-pays" system.

The establishment of the CAA is consistent with international trends in regulating civil aviation and mirrors steps taken with the establishment of the South African Maritime Safety Authority, South African National Roads Agency and the Cross-Border Transport Authority in April 1998.

The Government, in setting up the CAA, has identified the need to meet its international obligations in relation to the International Civil Aviation Organisation's (ICAO) standards and recommended practices in order to ensure aviation safety in South Africa.
Corporate Governance
The Authority is governed by a Board of Directors appointed by the Minister of Transport and is representative of aviation industry, management and business expertise. Through a Performance Agreement with the Minister, the Board is accountable for the performance of the Authority in carrying out its statutory functions and achieving objectives. The
NDOT will monitor the activities of the Authority.

The Chairperson of the Board is Mr Israel Skosana, Group Managing Director of SARWHU Investment Holdings, who was until recently Chief Executive Officer of South African Express Airlines. The civil aviation industry is represented on the Board through Mr Pieter van Hoven, Managing Director of Comair / British Airways and Mr Graeme Conlyn, Executive Chairman of National Airways and Finance Corporation. Mr Trevor Abrahams, the Chief Executive of the CAA and Commissioner for Civil Aviation is also a board member.

Other areas of business expertise are reflected in the Board appointments of Mr Naran Maharajh, Director of KMMT Brey Inc., a chartered accountant; Ms Phuti Matlala, a senior organisational development advisor at Eskom; Mr Cromwell Mashengete; a fund manager with Nedcor Investment Bank and Ms Nothemba Mlonzi, a director of Mlonzi and Company, a law firm in the Eastern Cape.
The management of the CAA has been structured along three core responsibility levels. The Strategic Management level which constitutes the Executive Management, Project Management level which together with the Executive Management constitutes Senior Management and the Operational level which is organised according to technical departments.
The key role for the Executive is the strategic leadership of the organisation and the co-ordination of policy formulation. The Executive's function is to develop and maintain positive links with the industry and to co-ordinate the CAA's international relations with organisations such as SADC, ICAO, AFCAC, and other CAAs.
The Project Management level co-ordinates the technical activities of the key areas of oversight - Aircraft, Airports, Airspace and Personnel. Oversight of Operations is co-ordinated by Personnel and Aircraft respectively.
Technical departments report to the areas of oversight relevant to their specific activities. This means that depending on the activity a technical department may report to a different oversight area. Within each area of oversight, the key responsibilities are to set, monitor and enforce standards, as well as to promote safety.
Areas of Oversight
Airport oversight involves the certification of airports and heli-ports and monitoring civil and electrical engineering matters in relation to infrastructure on and around airports such as, lighting, navigational aids, their repair and maintenance. Development in the vicinity of airports is monitored, including the construction of "obstacles" - objects tall enough to pose a hazard to flying operations such as cellular phone masts, cranes and buildings. Another important area of airport oversight includes monitoring processes and procedures for rescue and fire-fighting services, screening of passengers and baggage, access control in terms of fencing and lighting as well as the handling, packaging and documentation of hazardous substances. Administration of the aeronautical Very High Frequency (VHF) spectrum on behalf of the South African Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (SATRA) is also part of the oversight of airports.

Aircraft oversight deals with all certification activities in relation to aircraft products and parts. This includes the issuing and renewing of airworthiness certificates, approvals and renewals for aircraft maintenance, design and manufacturing, processing and testing organisations. In addition, aircraft oversight covers the approvals of modifications, noise certification and maintenance and repairs to aircraft.

The area of Personnel involves oversight in relation to examining, licensing and training of aviation personnel. All relevant organisations and services are monitored to ensure that personnel and standards meet international standards.

Oversight of Operations is carried out in terms of monitoring information contained in the operations manuals of every operator to ensure compliance with relevant legislation. Oversight is performed through regular and ad hoc inspections, including route surveillance checks on operators to ensure compliance with the required standards. Flight simulator checks and certification, cabin safety and flight engineer surveillance are performed at least once per annum. In addition, security programmes and processes of operators in relation to their handling of passengers, baggage and dangerous goods are monitored.

Airspace oversight ensures the effective management and provision of air traffic services through the allocation of airspace by the statutory consultative body, the National Airspace Committee (NASCOM). This area of oversight also ensures that air traffic service providers maintain required standards and equipment. This area of oversight is also responsible for the development of procedures for air navigation services and operations (PANS-Ops), designing, testing and certifying instrument flight procedures and the preparation of aeronautical charts. The nature of these activities is such that there is regular contact with organisations such as ICAO and AFCAC. Accordingly, Airspace oversight also has an international relations co-ordination function.

Accidents and incidents investigation, while technically not an area of oversight, is a key activity of the CAA carried out on behalf of Government. Investigations are conducted to determine the cause and to recommend measures to prevent recurrence. In addition, the monitoring of trends regarding aircraft accident and incidents and the identification of potential problem areas, possible safety deficiencies and proposing safety recommendations to the regulatory body are other key functions.

The Flight Inspection department does not fall under a specific area of oversight. This Department's function is to calibrate the radio navigational aids used by aircraft to ensure accuracy and reliability. Many of these tests are performed on the ground but to ensure that the radio signals are interpreted accurately by aircraft receivers, it is also necessary to perform airborne tests on the ground equipment. The navigational aids are inspected at regular intervals in accordance with international requirements. The Department inspects all radio navigational aids in South Africa as well as some within Africa.

The Information Services department provides aeronautical information to the industry and also meets the information needs of the organisation.

The operational and technical areas are supported by the Human Resources, Finance and Information Technology divisions, which fall under Corporate Services.

Support is also provided by the Communications, Research, Planning and Legal Services divisions, which report directly to the Chief Executive Officer, who in conjunction with the General Managers are responsible for international relations, industry liaison and the strategic direction of the organisation.
Funding and Cost-recovery
The CAA is funded by a combination of user fees, a levy placed on industry participants and Government funding for services, which the CAA performs on its behalf. These services include the investigation of aircraft accidents and serious incidents. The Government will also provide a subsidy for a period of three years to help establish the CAA.

User fees are based on the recovery of the costs to the Agency of providing the relevant service. This approach will create a more efficient and cost-effective regulatory regime and a safer civil aviation system.

Our Vision:
Promoting Global Excellence in Aviation Safety through Partnerships.
Our Mission:
We will work towards excellence in aviation safety through:
· Partnerships with industry and all stakeholders;
· Developing and maintaining high levels of customer service;
· Ensuring an aviation industry which is safe, of high quality, compliant with international standards and which contributes to the economic and social growth and sustainability of the Southern African region;
· Developing a learning organisation; and
· Developing the potential of our employees.
Our Values:
In all that we do, we will:
· Promote quality and safety;
· Demonstrate integrity, honesty, non-discrimination, ethics and consistency;
· Be transparent and consultative;
· Focus on our customers' needs and provide a high level of customer service;
· Develop staff and create a satisfying and happy workplace;
· Develop a spirit of team-work within the CAA and with our clients; and
· Promote equity and opportunities for previously disadvantaged groups.


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