Aero Club Communique

Preserving Free Flight

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Ray W
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Aero Club Communique

Unread post by Ray W » Mon May 27, 2019 8:55 am

The Aero Club of South Africa – Communique May 2019

Introduction
The Recreational Aviation field has seen some significant changes in recent months, and a General Manager’s report is long overdue, although as previously reported one of the prime changes made is that the Aero Club will be moving forward without the services of a General Manager from the 1st of April 2019, and as such the portfolios are being led by the current Exco of the Chair, Vice Chair and the Treasurer. The Exco has had numerous worksessions post 1st of April at frequent intervals until matters are stabilised in ensuring the work is organised and executed. You will find the responsibility portfolios on the website.

As we are now essentially fully a volunteer organisation except for the functions at the office, the Aero Club would welcome additional support from members in their fields of expertise as volunteers. We have in any event been working in the background to create sub-committees on various elements, notably the current most important aspects being Advocacy and the AP Scheme, which has gone through material changes within the RAASA / CAA transition and needs a focussed way forward in the short term. The AGM is also behind us, the draft minutes and reports are available on the website.

Advocacy Matters
On the 1st of April, RAASA transitioned into the CAA structure, the Rand Airport office has been retained and the services pertaining Recreational Licencing and Authorities to Fly continue. Prior to the RAASA inclusion into the SA CAA the CAA called a ARO Round Table Stakeholder meeting to understand the ARO environment from the various Sections / Industries and their points of view.

Three engagements were planned, the last one still pending, the most notable engagement occurred on the 25th to 27th Feb 2019 over three days. Day one took place at Orient and Krugersdorp Airfield whereby the various Aero Club Sections gave a brief presentation and showcased the Section/ARO to the various SA CAA personnel in attendance. Day two was held by SAMAA which highlighted the SAMAA MOP and admin capabilities as well as a display of models and closed with a discussion on mutual participation. Day three was an indoor meeting that dealt with the implementation of the SA CAA transition plan and Civil Aviation regulatory issues that were tabled by the ARO’s.

The last engagement planned for the 27th May will have as objective the establishment of a framework in which the CAA and Recreational Aviation will work going forward as well as the formalisation of further planning sub committees. These will cover ARO’s and their functions, the AP Scheme and its reconstitution, and Part 149 review.

AP Scheme
The AP scheme is under review and there are a number of serious issues that are being tackled with the SA CAA as to the correct management and governance of this scheme. The Aero Club has historically managed this scheme from its origins as the LS1 document to the now more complex AP 1 and AP 2 requirements that incorporates commercial APs.

With the RAASA transition to the SA CAA effective 1st April 2019 the AP Scheme is currently under review with the Aero Club taking the lead role. There appears to be issues of interpretation and implementation with the current APs exacerbated by changes that have come in, and is hampering the document flow process and causing much frustration within the industry.

The Aero Club held a meeting with the CAA on the 16th of May regarding the future of the AP Scheme, and have an agreement with the CAA that they will host a meeting where all the Sections and their key APs are represented to unpack the concerns and establish the requirements in order to formulate a workable plan for all APs whereby the Aero Club and the SA CAA can ensure that optimal safety and oversight exists as well as practical and workable solutions are sought.

What the Aero Club requires, and have already been in contact with all known APs whether these APs are still active and wish to be still active, and if these APs would avail themselves to attend a meeting arranged by the Aero Club to ensure maximum participation to ensure that we find the most beneficial way forward. As the AP database may not be complete, please check if you have received such a communication, if not, be in contact with the Aero Club office.

Membership
The Recreational Aviation community is facing a number of challenges this year, with membership numbers in each of the disciplines under threat, cost of entry into Aviation in general, the integration of RAASA into the CAA and the transition of the functions into the CAA structures are all influencing the participation of our members. With the plans coming into place in establishing good working relationships with all our mutual stakeholders, we should have a re-invigorated membership structure, and with the knowledge and experience within all our Member Associations, we can uphold the Aero Club’s motto of Preserving Free Flight to all.

General
This 2019 year has so far proven to have been very active in Recreational Aviation, given the successes of the events held so far, and the general vibrancy of the community. In particular, a number of Air Shows have been held and observe there will be fierce competition this year for the Air Show of the year award, a number of SAPFA Speed Rallies that has drawn excitement in the power flying community, the new format PTAR successfully held in Saldanha, Sport Aerobatic Club competitions, the EAA convention at Vryheid with a number of new homebuilt and vintage projects taking to the skies, SAMAA with a full calendar of events, and numerous fly-ins and fly-aways held. In all through the Aero Club’s communication and media channel Pilot’s Post, there have been 40 articles of events already held since the start of 2019, which is an average of around 2 events per weekend around the country.

We are getting closer to 2020, which is the Aero Club’s Centenary year, and this year is particularly poignant to celebrate 100 years of existence of Recreational Aviation, with plans underway to celebrate this taking shape, in particular the pinnacle Airweek event that will have a Centenary theme to be held at Middelburg building on the success of the 2018 and 2019 events.






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