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Air Service Licensing and International Air Services Councils on Track

November 24, 2021

Department of Transport

A shortlist of candidates to serve on the Air Service Licensing and International Air Services Councils has been drawn up.

The transport department published the shortlist in Government Gazette 45505 in terms of the Air Services Licensing Act and the International Air Services Act.

The biographies of the shortlisted candidates are available at www.transport.gov.za.

Comment on the 16 potential candidates is invited until 3 December 2021.

Meanwhile, the department recently provided responses to submissions on the Civil Aviation Amendment Bill to the select committee on transport, public service and administration and public works and infrastructure.

The select committee called for comment on the bill in September 2021.

The portfolio committee on transport adopted the bill with amendments in March 2021 and the national assembly (NA) sent it to the national council of provinces (NCOP) for concurrence in May 2021.

The bill was tabled in parliament in November 2018.

The department published the bill for comment towards the end of 2016.

The bill lapsed at the end of the 5th parliament but was revived by the NA at the end of October 2019.

The bill aims to amend the Civil Aviation Act of 2009 so as to:

• amend existing, and insert new, definitions;
• rectify references to certain Ministries and Government Departments;
• amend Chapter 4 of the Act so as to make provision for the operational independence of aircraft accident and incident investigation;
• rectify the provision regarding the establishment of the South African Civil Aviation Authority;
• give the South African Civil Aviation Authority environmental protection oversight function;
• make provision for the Civil Aviation Authority as a preferential creditor in respect of any money, fees, charges or levies collected on its behalf;
• do away with the requirement for the development of a corporate governance plan;
• make provision for an employee of the Department to be a member of the Civil Aviation Authority Board;
• amend the provisions relating to the appointment and removal of the Commissioner for Civil Aviation and matters related to his or her functions and responsibilities;
• amend the provisions relating to the performance agreement between the Minister and the Aviation Safety Investigation Board;
• clarify the provisions dealing with conflict of interest;
• provide for the designation of the Chairperson of the National Aviation Security Committee and matters connected with the operations of the Committee;
• delete the provisions dealing with compliance notices;
• amend the provisions dealing with appeals;
• authorise the Minister to issue exemptions and to prescribe additional offences and additional enforcement mechanisms;
• extend the powers of the Minister to make regulations;
• move the procedures for the establishment of consultative structures to the regulations; and
• provide for matters connected therewith.

According to the portfolio committee on transport’s invitation for comment at the end of 2020, following public hearings and deliberations, the committee decided that it would be necessary to amend other provisions of the principal act which were not included in the bill, and to further extend the public consultations.

Following a submission from the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) on its preferential creditor status, the proposed amendments would allow SACAA to be one of the “first-in-line creditors to get their fees, either via a Trust or ring-fenced funds as a preferential creditor through the Insolvency Act”.

The department briefed the select committee on the bill in August 2021.

Responses include that the detailed explanation on how to consult the Civil Aviation Regulation Committee will be contained in the regulations; the change of the name from Director of Civil Aviation to Commissioner for Civil Aviation is designed to address confusion created by the title “Director” that relates to first level SMS in a government department; the transport minister will not be required to give permission for any armed SAAF or SAPS flight; the “air service” definition is not in conflict with the definitions as contained in Article 96 of the Chicago Convention as well as the definition of “air service” as contained in section 1 of the Air Services Licensing Act of 1990; the bill was certified as consistent with the Constitution by the Office of the Chief State Law Adviser and “aeroplane” refers to fixed wing aircraft whereas “aircraft” includes both fixed wing and helicopters.