The Aero Club of South Africa proactively promotes, protects and preserves all forms of sport and recreational aviation in South Africa.

The Aero Club of South Africa

Through the participation of its members will:

  1. Protect and Preserve

Maintain and uphold the rights of sections and via their sections the individual members to preserve free flight and their right to share the South African Skies.

Monitor developing legislation through liaison and consultation with relevant authorities regarding airspace protection, registration and development of all recreational aircraft, licensing, provision of guidance and assistance for registration of aircraft and proving.

  1. Facilitate fair competition

Custodian of records and honours, as the National federation for sport aviation Maintain competition standards to FAI and International best practice while conforming to national competition requirements for events.

Maintain the membership of FAI and protect the achievement of National Colours.

Ensure all competitions meet the FAI international competitions standards along with the SASCOC and SRSA national requirements.

Provide assistance with securing requirements to hold host and attend competitions including securing airspace in which the competitions may operate. Maintain the sporting code and sporting conduct in Aero Club and all its sections

  1. Administer

Management and collection of membership data, provide access to membership information. Management of funds, collection and dispersal of membership fees to sections.

Acknowledgement of volunteer members and sections who further recreational and sport aviation.

Provide oversight of sections membership and administration of funds in those sub sections.

Maintain ethics, insurance cover for sections, members and the AP scheme.

  1. Promote

Encourage and assist in the marketing, facilitation and co-ordination of section specific events, multi disciplinary events and marketing there of via Aero Club channels.

Proliferate awareness of safe aviation and increase growth of membership. Support of section events and initiatives, focusing on development and transformation

Taking the above into consideration and despite numerous discussions with the aviation public and Aero Club members, along with the volumes of correspondence, it seems a continuous education on what AeCSA does

especially behind the scenes tirelessly must be promoted.

The sections whom should be aviation recreational organisations are just as important as they were before, if not more so. Various flying disciplines are AROs representing and looking after the aspects vital to members of the flying fraternity participating or flying aircraft that fall within these specific disciplines.

All recreational pilots wishing to operate in South Africa need to be part of a relevant section with a relevant ARO as per 94.06.1(2) in volume two (2) of the CARs and if the section does not have an ARO, be members of the relevant disciplines’ National Body. The sections ( e.g. SAMAA, SAGPA, SAHPA to name a few) are

responsible for operating their discipline as per their MOP in line with the SA Civil Aviation Regulations, developing respective discipline, developing applicable standards and ensuring that RAASA is advised of these standards via the MOPs. RAASA uses the section’s MOPs to administrate and provide oversight of each discipline and approves the respective MOPs alongwith adjustments necessary for uniformity. If the MOP is not to the required standard, then RAASA cannot approve the MOP and thus the ARO.

Further, sections are representative bodies comprising members, clubs and interested parties involved in the specific discipline and in accordance with the regulations of SASCOC and the FAI which is represented by the Aero Club. The Aero Club is recognised by these organisations and ensures that the sections regulate and oversee all clubs and provincial flying activities, pilot discipline and airmanship expected and as laid down in the respective MOPs. The Aero Club provides the umbrella body via the Transformation & Development section to liaise with the Lottery Funding Board (NLFDB) and the Department of Sports and Recreation to seek funding for development of each section’s discipline and to provide gender and racial transformation.

AeCSA via the sections provides RAASA with vital expertise to enable RAASA to effect correct oversight and administration of sections’ application of their respective MOP’s. The sections guide RAASA on implementation of each disciplines rules, along with liaison with the different government structures through the organisation being a recognised section of Aero Club of SA.

With regard to Accident investigators; experts from the sections are regularly appointed by the Accident Investigation department once they have completed the required training assist when investigating aviation accidents of aircraft peculiar to that specific discipline.

Self determination of each discipline continues and Aero Club via its sections must still continue to:

  • Keep record of its members and discipline procedures
  • Keep RAASA informed of any non compliance
  • Hold and adjudicate their competitions
  • Develop new flying sites whilst maintaining good relations with municipalities and other bodies which form part of their flying communities infrastructure
  • Work via its defined systems to grow the sections’ sport and the numbers whilst simultaneously working towards the self determined transformation of the sports to be more demographically representative of our South African population
  • Control and liaise regarding the sporting events and through Aero Club and its membership of SASCOC ensure that recognition for provincial or national colours are available for those that compete and excel to the standards that they have self determined in conjunction with Aero Club and SASCOC as documented in their MOPs so that these colours can be awarded
  • Submit international records with criteria which are regulated by FAI or any other body recognised by the section or the Aero Club and are suitably documented and prepared by the sections and then submitted via the Aero Club for FAI ratification and recognition.
  • The development of all the requirements for licensing and the rules regarding the issuing of licences with consultation with RAASA and other bodies pertinent to ensure these are regulated and in place to be overseen by RAASA.

Sections will continue to develop their particular sport and maintain discipline from an ethics and club perspective. Hopefully voluntary compliance to the requirements documented in the sections MOPs is achieved in this manner. RAASA (and the SA CAA currently) does not have the expertise to develop each discipline and therefore uses the recreational sections to deliver this expertise and in turn ensure that the licensing to all members is fair, efficient and free of nepotism. The sections will have input into the airmanship and good standing of members within sections to add to the licensing requirements especially when increasing or adding ratings.

Since the formation of RAASA, the Aero Club of South Africa has returned to its original role as the primary promoter of recreational aviation. Its primary task is to be a representative body which monitor regulations

(basically a watchdog), the CAA and RAASA along with various government bodies and organisations, ensuring that the members of the sections receive adequate representation on all matters within aviation which may affect the perseverance of free flight.

To this end the Aero Club’s objectives are:

  • To popularise, co -ordinate, develop and administer sport aviation in South Africa throughout all the various disciplines practised by member Associations
  • To encourage participation in all activities of the AeCSA of all South African residents irrespective of gender, race or religious denomination
  • To diligently strive for the safe practice of sport aviation in South Africa
  • Disseminate through the publication of regular magazines and other information platforms, the members of AeCSA and the general public of activities of the AeCSA and its member associations
  • To encourage participation in sport aviation at international level
  • Help each section, where pertinent, to achieve an Aviation Recreation Organisation status, which will ensure each section has a manual of operation and procedures for the activities in which their members participate.

The Aero Club of South Africa is the officially recognised body representing all 13 affiliated sections at the various forums listed below:

  • Industry Liaison Forum (ILF)-deals with all matters relating to commercial and sport aviation
  • General Aviation Safety Initiative forum (GASI) – deals with all safety in general aviation, which has had a huge impact on reducing accidents already
  • National Airspace Committee (NASCom) – handles all matters with the design and regulation of airspace (this is very important to recreation aviation)
  • Civil Aviation Regulation Committee CARCom and associated work groups – deals with all regulations and development along with ICAO compliance or difference initiatives
  • Aviation Medical Department (AVMED) working groups – deals with the standards, training and all matters related to aviation medicals and especially the class IV requirements pertinent to recreational aviation
  • Air Traffic Control (ATC) working groups to deal with all air traffic control issues and special exemptions
  • National Airspace Master plan working groups – the group designing the guidance document for all airspace design in South Africa
  • Department of Transport (DOT) – provides guidance to the SA CAA and handles all transport matters
  • South African Weather Service forums (SAWS) and work groups – deals with all meteorological data, the dissemination and the type of data required for aviation
  • CAA budget Consultation group – Assists in debating the CAA’s annual budget
  • Recreation Aviation Administration of South Africa – deals with all administration and legislation and oversight for recreational aviation
  • Local municipalities and airports’ safety committees
  • South African Sports’ Confederation Olympic Committee (SASCOC) – deals with all sports in SA and controls the national and provincial colours for those federations that adhere to its rules and regulations
  • Department of sport and recreation (SRSA) – To improve the quality of life of all South Africans, foster social cohesion, enhance nation building by maximising access, development and excellence at all levels of participation in sport and recreation.
  • South African Air Force (SAAF) – dealing with mutual airspace and air security matters
  • Federation Aeronautique Internationale (FAI) – handling of all records and international sporting events and rules for each discipline
  • Insurance companies to provide professional indemnities for the AP scheme
  • Group Third Party insurance for certain sections.

Over and above this, if a member has concerns regarding treatment by the CAA, or RAASA or any other body for any valid issue, the member can approach the Aero Club to take up his or her problems with the relevant bodies and a lot of this has been required of late.

The Aero Club of South Africa assists with the following:

  • Averting incorrect and unsafe rules prematurely placed in law without sufficient and correct consultation
  • Providing the annual event to recognise excellence within each section and award national and provincial colours if applicable
  • Raising awareness of recreational aviation by assisting sections to remain informed and showcase their marketing plans
  • Provide savings with agreements using the Crew Cards when used overseas
  • Ensuring we are active role playing members of the FAI with equal status amongst the bigger nations to allow smooth movement of our sporting pilots to compete fairly in international sporting events and direct our individual disciplines internationally
  • Actively defending our stance against the mandatory use of transponders and limitations on our aviation activities and airspace
  • Actively defending our stance on the abolishment of landing fees for recreational aviators
  • Actively defending against the environmental organisations and governmental bodies who wish to curb our right to use the airspace above certain areas often using misconceptions and without proper of effective consultation
  • Ensuring SAMAA sites are preserved and protected

Fundamentally, the Aero Club of SA is your direct representative which upholds your rights to fly in South Africa and at the competitive FAI level internationally. NB. RAASA (the formation of which is a partnership between SACAA and the Aero Club of SA) has no members and thus does not represent the members and is ostensibly an independent organisation fulfilling functions for the SACAA where they have limited or no capacity of expertise.

Difficulties encountered past and present to preserve your rights

  • Mandatory use of transponders due to the ICAO compliance embarked upon rigorously by the SA CAA and ATNS. This is an ongoing situation, but fortunately new technology may alleviate the necessity of having to fit ‘old technology’ equipment to aircraft
  • Air Traffic service flat fee – relief was achieved for all aircraft weighing less than 900kg
  • Weather service charges – this situation is again raising its head since the current services provide only limited information which is useful to the majority of recreational aviators
  • Many differences of opinion on airspace segmentation and registration of airfields as well as flying sites, which also includes the present stance by CAMU on its understanding of the ‘flexible use of airspace’ principles, along with the principle often overlooked by CAA and ATNS that they should be working towards the lowest amount of controlled airspace
  • Buffer zones. The fight rages on which effectively is the theft of airspace using often safety as a flimsy basis and mainly because the lack of effective enforcement of often acceptable LOA and LOPs and simple operational rules are not carried out
  • The biggest problem is over-regulation due to pilots not respecting or considering others as well as self regulating the particular discipline in line with aviators
  • If all pilots performed correctly and respected the regulations, the AeCSA would probably not require the amount of regulation or representation currently enforced
  • The challenge is to ensure that the regulations in place are effective, fair and deliver the reasons for having them in the first instance.

The Aero Club of South Africa has an integrated database system, FUNDI CRM in place for use by all sections so that each section and its members may have access to the latest information, be able to know what competitions and events are in progress that will ensure better cross-discipline involvement as well as support, which will ultimately reduce the administrative requirements currently in place at Aero Club.

The Aeroclub of South Africa stands for holistically

Preserving Free Flight