The national assembly has passed the Civil Aviation Amendment Bill and sent it to the national council of provinces for concurrence.
The bill was tabled in parliament in November 2018.
The transport 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 national assembly 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;
• 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.
The portfolio committee on transport called for comment on proposed amendments to the bill in November 2020.
According to the portfolio committee on transport’s invitation for comment, 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 select committee on transport, public service and administration, public works and infrastructure will now process the bill.