12 May 2022 - NW1479
Lees, Mr RA to ask the Minister of Transport
Whether, with regard to the use of the Ladysmith Airport in KwaZulu-Natal for drag racing from 17 March 2022 to 20 March 2022, the SA Civil Aviation Authority conducted any inspections of the (a) airport runway and (b) taxi routes since the use of the airport for drag racing; if not, why not; if so, what (i) damage was identified during such inspection and (ii) remedial action was and/or is required to ensure the airport meets all required standards?
South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA)
(a) (b) The South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) has a scheduled annual inspection for Ladysmith during the 3rd week of September 2022. (i) (ii) The SACAA does not inspect this type of aerodrome after such an event due to the following reasons:
1. Approval is granted for such events to be hosted on the airport premises and runway on condition that the aerodrome is closed for air traffic through publication and that the airport management ensures that the surface and shoulders of the runway are inspected, and any damage is repaired, before the aerodrome is opened for normal use.
2. The general duties of the Aerodrome Licence Holder, according to CAR 2011, Part 139.02.23, provides for the responsibility for aerodrome safety and security to be assumed by the License holder at all times as per international best practice.
3. There is no history of permanent damage, caused by such events, and it has been the SACAA’s experience that license holders adhere to safety requirements and ensure that the aerodrome is clean before re-opening it for air traffic.
4. The SACAA focusses its oversight on commercial and scheduled aerodromes, as guided by its risk assessments, and it would be costly to allocate resources to small non-commercial aerodromes in the absence of material risk.
Non-aviation events, such as drag racing, are hosted by the owners of small aerodromes, with no scheduled air traffic, in order to supplement their income to run the aerodromes.