What does the Aero Club of South Africa mean to you?
In answering this, two main principles need to be agreed on. Most Recreational pilots fly for pleasure because it is a passion and secondly, to do so they need to fund their activities privately, which means they need to work hard and hold jobs or won and run companies that afford them the time and the financial standing to pay for recreational aviation. Taking these two principles into consideration the vast majority has little time to keep an eye on what the government and various organisations are doing, attend these meetings and ensure that the very rights to fly that they hold so precious are protected the right to freedom of Flight.
Yes, we have many sections with volunteers that give selflessly to look after their sport, but these committees and associations meet all too infrequently and change so often that it is difficult to maintain impetus to complete projects and to pay attention to every challenge which arises that may threaten recreational and sport aviation. On the whole there is an amazing amount of apathy and the feeling that somebody will do it. When it does not happen there is much complaining.
To this end, as the minutes capture back on 6 April 1920 a group of passionate aviators, mostly from serving forces, founded the Aero Club of South Africa. The very things that were true back then are still relevant today. The Aero Club has become the most important organisation to protect the rights of freedom of flight. The Aero Club of South Africa is a distinguished organisation that has grown and in 2020 celebrated its centenary.
There are certain acts and regulatory requirements that have been formulated over the years to protect recreational and sport aviation. The Aero Club are recognised by various governmental and international aviation bodies as the governing bodies in South Africa. The Aero Club of South Africa is the official recognised body representing all affiliated sections on the various committees and 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 already had a huge impact on reducing accidents
- 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)
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 (NAScom)
The group designing the guidance document for all airspace design in South Africa.
- Department of Transport (DOT)
Provided guidance to the SACAA and handles all transport matters.
- South African Weather Service (SAWS)
Deals with the meteorlogical data, the dissemination and the type of data required for aviation.
- CAA budget Consultation group
Assists in debating the SA CAA’s annual budget
- South African Sports Confederation Olympic Committee (SASCOC)
Deals with all sports in South Africa and controls the national and provincial colours for those federations that adhere to its rules and regulations.
- Department of Sport and Recreation South Africa(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)