AEROCLUB UPDATE NOVEMBER 2014
By Kevin Storie
We trust that this new regular posting in Pilot's Post will give more insight into the Aeroclub (AeCSA) and what is being looked at and dealt with. It is merely a tiny spotlight rather than the comprehensive list as we may need a rather large book…….
Year after year especially with new members joining and older members it would seem suffering "Alzheimer's", well our average age is not on the yourng side of the power curve, we must continually re-confirm what AeCSA does for its members comprising all ARO and sport disciplines in AeCSA. In simple terms we protect the member's right to fly, against the constant barrage of "red tape" regulations, incompetent application of misguided understandings by SACAA officials when using the civil aviation regulations and regularly the miss-application of these same laws.
This takes up a massive amount of aero clubs time and to be blunt the SACAA's.
At the same time we use the representation of a substantial membership to ensure our voice is firmly heard while simultaneously working with the "unicorns at SACAA". Yes, they do exist, those few passionate dedicated SACAA officials that do actually hold the interests of keeping aviation alive rather than treating it as merely a job. To those and they know who they are we salute you and we just hope we have a herd of unicorns in the near future.
In Britain there has been a sincere move to reduce needless regulations which have been proven to have not and do not attribute to a better safety record but merely make aviation recreationally more difficult.
SACAA see throwing regulations at things as the answer. Since the advent of the safety campaign, Safety First Aviator, we have seen many more regulations brought into the bursting at the seams "blue bibles" and yet the accidents remain almost as they were, if not on an increase.
Education is the only way and having an accessible standard that is embraced by both the industry and the regulator so that together safety is achieved.
One AeCSA success story is the successful development of the latest Part 47 regulations that will serve the industry rather than making them complete one of the most impossible plethora of compliance requirements. Requirements that if implemented would merely have kept aircraft out of the air or even worse for proudly South African aircraft owners to register their aircraft in USA or Swaziland or the rest. If it was to continue shortly, Namibia and Botswana may boast more aircraft than SA as we will move our aircraft to these more accommodating regulators that seems to embrace common sense in a timeous fashion.
Part 47 was a combined achievement where SACAA listened, understood, embraced and actively applied a how we can fix this attitude and everybody will mutually benefit from this. It would be good if other problem areas could be addressed with this approach.
Let me highlight the absolutely crazy implementation of a hotly contested ENR - that being ENR 1.6 which the SACAA has tried since 2005 in various forms, and in 2011 did so clandestinely, without industry consultation, convincing the previous DCA to slip in this unbelievably flawed regulation forcing mandatory carriage of transponders in the extensive vicinity of controlled airspace.
This one is a shocker. If applied as per the letter of the law, a non-transponder equipped aircraft is legally allowed to operate in the Special rules area with exemption to the ENR but upon leaving the special rules area into class G airspace in Gauteng has to do a "Channel tunnel" - yes you got it, fly underground to be legal. To enable this maybe SACAA will be inspecting for tunnelling equipment to be institute on the equipment list for our aircraft. What is humorous in an unfortunate way is the previous board of SACAA actively suggested to the SACAA that they should start enforcing this requirement.
As this is merely a beginning we believe we can keep the members further up to date on what's happening and hopefully we can come back in further write-ups to show SACAA doing good. At this moment AeCSA is seriously concerned with the inefficiencies and silo approach rife within SACAA. It must be noted that this is not in every department and some are actually operating to international levels of excellence. We hope to see the actual practical "sleeves rolled up approach" to doing justice to the talk that SACAA must foster growth in the industry - especially in recreational aviation the nesting ground for aviation, the wetland for the Aviation community. A healthy sport aviation sector is a healthy SACAA and job creator.
"Never to be silent on Preserving Free flight since 1920"
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