Dear SAGPA Members and friends, it has been a tough 2018 in the seat as chairlady and committee members, so much has happened during the 2018 term and time was just not on our side to report back timeously during 2018 as planned. Herewith some of the highlights of 2018: -
In a meeting with SACAA in January 2018 regarding Gyroplane Regulations, we presented the Phil Harwood Gyropedia eLearning module, and need to wait for the eLearning regulations to be approved. Have a look at the document "One World, One Standard, One Gyroplane Licence" available under the members sections on the SAGPA website - this is the system that SAGPA is currently investigating as an option to implement and offer to the SAGPA ATO's, Instructors, and offering the training to our instructors. We are in negotiations with Phil Harwood on the pricing and the structure and it looks like a yearly fee for the ATO with Packages according to a minimum and maximum Nr of students. It seems affordable at the current pricing structure in place.
Once the eLearning regulations have been approved, we will apply to SACAA for approval of this online system for our Gyroplane ATO's, it is up to the ATO to decide if they want to implement or not. This is still for the future planning, and no further decisions can be made or arrangements for Training from Phil and his wife, until regulations has been approved and depending on the amount of ATO's instructors that are interested in signing up.
At the SAGPA AGM at Kitty Hawk and it was agreed that the membership fees will stay at R 650 for the year. Of our registered membership of 324, 158 are fully paid up, the remainder the bulk of which have not renewed, showing a decline in retaining membership. Similarly, there is also a decline of overall NPL renewals, from 5500 that RAASA had on their books in 2009, this has reduced to 1980 to date.
Gyrocopter types registered are a total of 359, made up of Magni M-16 Tandem Trainer (74), RAF 2000 (44), AutoGyro MTO Sport (35), AutoGyro MT-03 (33), Magni M-22 Voyager (30), AutoGyro Calidus (27), ELA 07 (25), ELA 08 (24), Sycamore (20), Xenon (2), RST (14), AutoGyro Cavalon (11), Magni M-24 Orion (11), Others (8), Wagtail Trojan (3).
It was decided by SACAA that all airfields to be registered where the runway is more than 300 meters longer, it is only a registration of an airfield and no fees is payable.
In February 2018, CAA release communication pertaining to the Part 96 Authorizations that is issued to Pilots operating commercially, please ensure, that if you are one of these pilots, that you adhere to these the regulations. The commercial opportunities for the gyro industry is huge and we all can benefit from this if we comply to the requirements and regulations, therefore we need to ensure that we preserve these opportunities for the future to come and not close this door with SACAA.
In February 2018, RAASA confirmed that the SAGPA Manual of Procedure (MOP) is under review, and sent the audit report consisting of 4 pages of findings on the SAGPA MOP, the result, we had to completely re-write the MOP, and associated documentation, which we published for comment on the website and WhatsApp Groups, none was received and we submitted the amendments to RAASA.
In March 2018 the Aeroclub held their Airweek at Middelburg, thank you to all of those who attended and to Rob McFee for ensuring SAGPA was present during this week. This brings me to the attention of Display Ratings, displays at a fly-in can turn it into an Airshow with very different CAA and Municipal safety by-laws. Also, ASSA display rating required. Please make sure that have ticked all the boxes and are compliant if you want to do displays, thank you Len Klopper for reminding us of these requirements.
Helanie Eygelaar left us on the 9th of April 2018 and we would like to thank Helanie for her hard work and dedication during the 2016/2017 terms. SAGPA co-opted Thelma Roberts-Boucher from MISASA to take over the administration of the memberships and she has been doing a tremendous job, thank you Thelma. For all membership enquiries you can contact Thelma directly via email: email@example.com
In May 2018 CAA requested update on the ELT database, if you have an ELT in your gyroplane, please ensure that this information is up to date with SACAA. This reminds me of the emergency contact details and tremendous work Santjie White and her team at ARCC is doing when it comes to search and rescue. Please ensure that you and your next of kin have the contact details for the South African Search and Rescue Organization at hand.
July 2018 can be marked as the month we secured Approved Person Insurance for our AP's whom can now commercially work, this means that an AP can charge for his/her services. We have opened up a new income stream for our current and new Approved Person within SAGPA, as there is now insurance that cover your workmanship. It is extremely important that all of the Gyro AP's subscribe to this insurance. The insurance policy is up for renewal end of July 2019, and we need at least 15 AP's to subscribe to be able to sustain this insurance for the year 2019/2020. It took two very long years and lots of time to try and secure this insurance policy, we are currently the only ARO (Aviation Recreational Organization in terms of Part 149) that can offer this to our Approved Person, it is concerning that only 9 Approved Persons subscribed to the 2018/2019 policy. This policy will not be renewed, nor will it be available again if we let it lapse in 2019, due to no interest shown.
October 2018, SAGPA applied to CARCOM for a seat, our application has been received and we are still awaiting the decision of the secretariat. This application resulted due the ARO Stakeholders meetings, as presented and facilitated by SACAA, it highlighted the importance of our participation and the role we have to play in the industry. We are affiliated to the Aero Club of SA but it is not an ARO and we do not have any formal agreements in place between SAGPA and the Aero Club of SA giving it a mandate to officially represent our interests as an ARO. The oversight of the ARO rests entirely with the SAGPA Committee. The imminent reincorporation of RAASA into the regulator has deemed it imperative that the SAGPA ARO be afforded a seat and own representation at CARCOM. Furthermore, the approval of an independent ARO that has indicated that it represents recreational aviation has recently been afforded representation on CARCOM. This situation can lead to conflicted submissions and oversight in terms Part 149 as well as other possible regulatory or technical standards changes which may directly or indirectly affect us and in which SAGPA play a major role.
November SAGPA Committee gave the Members a heads-up on possible delays in ATFs and Pilot Licences due to the absorption of RAASA to CAA. This was broadcasted on the Member and Chat WhatsApp Groups "Members must try to renew their Pilot License and Gyro ATFs before the end of March 2018, in order to give you a year of flying during the transfer from RAASA to SACAA to avoid any delays and direct impact on you as a SAGPA member during this transition period taking place on 01 April 2019"
SAGPA will post to all possible communication platforms any communication relating to the absorption of RAASA back into CAA as we receive it.
With this said we have had challenging and interesting times in 2018 and still ahead Given the decision by the SACAA not to renew the Service Level Agreement with RAASA, it highlights the importance of SAGPA as recognised ARO for Gyroplanes and pilots. These challenging changes contribute to the strong possibility of additional responsibility of the AROs future and gives credence to nurture a healthy relationship with the aviation authority.
During the high-level talks between CAA, RAASA and representation from Aeroclub, it became apparent that building the bridge with CAA was of paramount importance. MISASA formed an ARO-Collective (which we refer to as the ARO A-Team) along with specific AROs that needed to understand where we would fit in or function within the industry, bearing in mind the dramatic changes taking place. This collective is comprised of the Chairman & Chairlady of namely MISASA, SAGPA, SSSA, PASA along with SAMAA & CAASA, liaised with CAA and had a ground-breaking meeting in 2018 to pave a way forward in the interest of not only recreational aviation, but also the commercial aspect of our sport. Indeed, this meeting was an "olive branch" approach and most enlightening for all parties that attended. Since taking over as Chairlady for SAGPA there was a concern that our "voice" or "representation" was diluted with Aeroclub not having a weighted vote in committees such as CARCOM and ASO. The reward for the A-Team taking charge was that a collective seat on both CARCOM & ASO was awarded to us and this would be utilised to the benefit of our all our members. In our unity lies our strength. Our immediate participation was evident in the important presentation of the proposed Part 55/56 regulations by RAASA where the collective had full representation and hands on deck at the ASO sub-committee meeting. It is apparent that the CAA "top-brass" are impressed, that we as representatives of industry have taking charge and are actively participating, but more so for us, that we are being recognized by the regulating authority for the important role we have to play. The time has most definitely come to be able to mould our future as ARO's as well as how we will function hand in hand with the regulators.
Given the changes between CAA & RAASA, the matter of how we will function remains to be seen. There have been two ARO Stakeholder meetings with SACAA, which I have attended in representation of SAGPA, and the third is scheduled for May of 2019, we will keep our members updated on any changes affecting the ARO and our members. For the time being, as Project 24 has been put on hold, we as ARO Collective have proposed amendments to regulations to CARCOM on 28 November 2018, which both I and Rowena Kraidy from MISASA attended, this was referred to the ASO Sub-Committee, and then to a workgroup, once approved for publication we will inform our members. We (myself and Rowena) are currently working on some proposals to amend some points within Part 24, 44, 62 and Part 66.4 regulations to preserve our freedom of flight.
We also raised the issue of the Accepted Aircraft Maintenance Schedules as per Part 44, as each aircraft call sign is required to have an Accepted Aircraft Maintenance Schedule and or Programme (AMS/AMP). RAASA does not request this for ATF Renewals, but CAA does, and this could lead to major frustration by our members from 01 April 2019. SAGPA and MISASA is looking at Part 44 to propose an amendment that only first of type and amateur built to submit such a manual and that the manufacturers maintenance schedule and program for fleet of aircraft or same type, to be accepted.
Aeroclub and CAASA is currently handling this with ICASA and SKA. There was a meeting between Aeroclub and SKA on 27 November 2018 that was intended to build relationships, and with a view to defining detailed technical problems so that mutually agreeable solutions are found, and the results of these endeavours are actually legislated without disadvantaging either party.
In February 2019, RAASA held their last Instructors Seminars. SAGPA with the ARO-Collective has been in meetings with SACAA to discuss the future of the Instructors Seminars and this must be the responsibility of the applicable ARO, once this has been finalised we will give feedback. We are looking to have a seminar for both APs and Instructors at the North meet South Scheduled for May 2020. Weidie Vorster and Eric Torr represented SAGPA at the ARO ORIENT display and presentation of our gyroplanes to SACAA, to get a better understanding of our industry.
The SACCA were still not sure how they would handle the absorption of RAASA, but it would be aimed at creating self-governing AROs with SACAA oversight / audits. The privileges granted to each ARO would differ according to their requirements and functional capability.
It was acknowledged that the existing SACAA Headquarters building in Midrand did not have sufficient spare floorspace to absorb all RAASA staff, and that most would stay at Rand Airport which would be considered as the Rand satellite office. Additional satellite offices were planned to be opened in Cape Town and Durban. Use of Rand Airport would continue until the SACAA occupied a new building at OR Tambo, currently scheduled for September 2021.
Recreational Aviation would be the responsibility of the Senior Manager - General Aviation, a position that was newly created and yet to be filled; although the daily operations would be the responsibility of Manager - General Aviation Organisation. The General Aviation Organisation Department would consist of a Manager, 4 Flight Operation Inspectors, a Mechanical Inspector and an Avionics Inspector; supported by 2 Administrators and a related branch department namely General Aviation Aircraft Operations.
Due to amount of time with the absorption of RAASA into CAA taking from the committee members, our voluntary time to properly plan the "North meets South" for 2019 has been depleted, and not all was in favour of the 2019 venue.
SAGPA has two legs, the one that fights for our freedom of flight and the other that creates the adventure for the freedom of flight. The one leg is currently weighing more than the other, and we need volunteers that can on a monthly basis plan and inform our members of Gyro adventures and where to take part in it. We are currently working with MISASA on all their adventures, and they will be sending an invite to our members to join in with them.
We thank all of the members for their support during the year and also to the hard work the committee has put in as volunteers, without volunteers on our committee and members supporting us, SAGPA will not exist. Thank you to each and every one that ensures another year for the SAGPA ARO!
Have fun, fly safe and preserve our sport!