CEO ANNUAL REPORT: AGM NOVEMBER 2017
General aviation plays a significant role in the expansion of South African trade and investment into other parts of the African continent. This includes contribution towards greater economic integration within the sub-Saharan region and is vital to the development of the tourism sector, both locally and regionally. This role should not be underestimated.
The sector faces some challenges; these arise primarily from the failure of policy- makers to recognise the sector’s economic and strategic importance, or to understand its nature and constraints. This leads to policy proposals that may be damaging to its commercial viability and long term growth potential. The recent revoking, by the South African Revenue Services, of the concession covering the temporary importation of aircraft, for a period exceeding 7 days, is a good illustration of this issue.
South Africa faces four major challenges, namely: current and increasing un-employment, critical skills shortages, almost zero percent growth in the economy and political instability.
In my view, we are not doing enough to resolve these issues. We need, for example, investment in regional and local manufacturing, training, maintenance and other aviation facilities. This will lead to more employment opportunities, create the required skills and grow the economy, all which will positively contribute towards transformation and the resolution of these four challenges.
Furthermore, unfocussed training of individuals does little to reduce the critical skills shortage. It seems, to some extent, as if the aviation industry is working in silos, without common goals to sustain aviation for the future. The CAASA Foundation might be able to address some of these issues, but without collaboration and buy-in from the entire industry, the impact will unfortunately be minimal.
During the past few years, as an association, CAASA has solidified its position as a reputable role player within the African and, more specifically, in the South African arena.
I think the step-by-step CAASA re-building process that started in 2011 has been successful and it is now, for the first time, that I feel largely satisfied with the current status and position of the association. Yes, there is always room for improvement, but I believe that we have a solid base to work from and are on the right track.
The current theme for CAASA is “Growing Together” and we aim to concentrate mainly on what we, as industry collaboratively, need to do to ensure that our aviation industry will thrive in the future. We need to invest in the future of aviation. In every way, this is the responsibility of all of us and we need to start now!
If you measure our performance against the CAASA 2017 Key Strategic Decisions and Objectives, as was re-defined by the CAASA Board during the Strategic Work Session held in Feb 2017, you might find that we are achieving our goals. The CAASA Marketing Committee has developed a comprehensive marketing plan, the national membership plan has been drafted and the membership mapping has been completed.
In order to increase membership, and CAASA awareness, the CAASA Marketing Team held two “Roadshows”; one at Grand Central and the other one at Wonderboom Airport; and is planning a third one at Nelspruit Airport.
CAASA has been successfully re-structured to include a Transformation, Social Development and Ethics Committee and is also in the final stages of establishing an independent board of the CAASA Foundation.
In terms of the objective to ensure the sustainability of CAASA through other sources of revenue, CAASA has opened the “Gear Down” Pub and is finalising arrangements for the Commercial Aviation Symposium Africa, scheduled for May 2018.
The objectives on the CAASA director’s succession plan and transformation of the CAASA Board are materialising, be that slightly slower than expected.
CAASA has, as always, been part of various committees, forums and work groups, all of which have direct bearing on the mandate of CAASA – to promote and protect the interests of commercial general aviation in Southern Africa. CAASA further actively engages, applicable departments of government, in collaboration with other aviation stakeholders, to resolve issues falling within its constituency.
CAASA has implemented an operational access database tracking system, or matrix, which has proved very successful. All the issues or complaints that are received at CAASA are placed on to this matrix and the progress is monitored. Regular meetings are set up with the SACAA and other role players to discuss the issues on the matrix to ensure that ongoing movement is achieved.
It will not be practical to mention all the activities that CAASA has been involved in during the year under revision; I therefore will only but mention a few. You are however more than welcome to review the full matrix containing all the itemised issues and their current status in the CAASA office. Important to note is that CAASA has, since the inception of the matrix, closed 82 % of the issues. This result is mainly due to the persistence and hard work done by Kevin Storie, thank you Kevin. It is also evident that the SACAA and SARS showed a sincere interest in involving the industry in the efforts to resolve aviation-related problems.
It is no secret that CAASA was behind the temporary re-instatement of the concession in terms of the temporary importation of aircraft, for a period exceeding 7 days, after SARS revoked the concession. CAASA is currently negotiating with SARS on a solution going forward. The whole process was made possible by CAASA members willing to “put their money where their mouths are”- thank you to these members; it is a true show of character.
CAASA has been instrumental in assisting with the Part 93 exemption and the soon to be tabled Part 93 regulatory amendment that will form part of agenda for the November CARCom sitting.
We were deeply involved in the 5 year ATO certificate matter, where CAASA affiliated ATOs can now be issued with a 5 year certificate, enabling a more streamlined student visa process. The 5 year certification principle will now also be rolled out to the AMOs and other organisations based on a best compliance, best served basis.
At NASCom the SKA remains as a matter under deliberation between the DOT, the aviation industry, the SACAA and the DST. Consultation is continuing at engineer’s level. CAASA maintains a positive presence in these deliberations.
Continued pressure from CAASA, on the Part 101 RPAS issues, has finally caused the SACAA and CUAASA to hold a round table discussion to clearly face the problems and challenges and to find a way forward. The regulations seem to be in line with, and in some cases superior to, other countries around the world; however the capacity to complete the processes within SACAA, as well as unnecessary requirement pertaining to small RPAS operators seem to have created severe blockages and backlogs.
CAASA is one of the nine (9) organisations that are currently re-writing and amalgamating the Domestic and International Air Services Licensing Acts. Amongst other issues, we have been successful in brokering the exclusion of all sub 25 kg RPAS from the requirement for an Air Service License. We now look forward to working with the SACAA to find ways to speed up the ROC process at the SACAA.
Participation in these activities remains relevant and CAASA will continue to serve the industry through these mechanisms. Engaging with these role players, CAASA’s intention is to work closely with them to ultimately find reasonable, and mutually acceptable, solutions within safe and practical frameworks.
CAASA currently has 198 members, we welcome our new members. We continue to look forward working closely together in a joint effort to strengthen commercial general aviation in Southern Africa. The full list of new members, and resignations, is added as an appendix to this report.
The Marketing Committee has been very active in the last few months, I would like to thank its members for their assistance in upgrading the Website, enhancing our social media capabilities and enhancing the Newsletter for CAASA; to mention but a few of the ongoing activities.
I am extremely excited about the CAASA Foundation. The final independent board should be established before the end of the year. The Foundation will support aviation initiatives, with specific emphasis on creating opportunities for historically disadvantaged entities and other social development programmes. The support for the foundation is growing daily. I am convinced that the Foundation has the potential to make a positive contribution to economic growth, employment and skills development.
The CAASA Affiliates have continued with business in their areas of expertise. CAASA is thankful for the participation of the Affiliate’s Executive Committees and their Presidents in assisting CAASA within their areas of expertise.
During the period under review, CAASA has continued to support other aviation associations in their efforts to ensure a safe, yet realistic, application of policies, procedures, fees and regulations. Although not always in agreement, CAASA has a good working relationship with AASA, ALPA and the Aero Club of South Africa (AeCSA). On international level, CAASA has a very good mutually beneficial working relationship with AfBAA. CAASA thanks these entities for their ongoing support in the protection and promotion of aviation in South Africa.
CAASA is one of the sponsors of the Aviation Safety Campaign and the Mayday SA Project. Depending on budget constraints, CAASA might consider continued support of these initiatives in future.
I was able to establish, over the year, healthy links and relations with the media and was afforded the opportunity to be interviewed by various written, verbal and visual media entities to promote the association.
The tenth edition of Africa Aerospace and Defence (AAD2018) will take place over the period of 19 to 23 September 2018 at Air Force Base Waterkloof in Centurion, South Africa. The AAD Executive Committee will focus specifically on enhancing visitor experience, simplifying the accreditation process, marketing aiming to lure more international exhibitors and trade visitors to AAD and enhancing the management of the foreign VIP delegations. We hope to increase the aviation entities participating in the event as exhibitors.
CAASA is the lead partner for this 10th edition of AAD and a full CAASA team has been identified to assist with all the arrangements. The planning for the Exhibition is well underway, with most service providers appointed and approximately 85% of the exhibition space booked.
CAASA will continue to serve the interests of the Commercial General Aviation industry through attendance of the various aviation committees and forums and will always strive to improve on the service it provides to its constituency.
The growth of involvement of the CAASA Board and CAASA members with commercial general aviation issues has been tremendous over the past year and is highly appreciated. At this point I would like to thank all the active CAASA members, who served on the various CAASA committees, assisted with special projects, assisted with funding legal issues, who visited us or who just smiled when one of us was trying to tell a joke. Thank you!
Thank you to the office team, Louise, Kevin and Sam; you all have contributed tremendously to the success of CAASA.
I especially would like to thank Tracey Eloff. You have been absolutely marvellous and must be one of the most active and involved Presidents in the history of CAASA. I remind you that Tracey is the first female President in the history of CAASA- What a milestone!
It will surely be a challenge for this association to manoeuvre within the constantly changing global and national environment, but I believe that CAASA is busy establishing itself as one of the most reputable aviation association in Africa.
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CAASA- Your Aviation Portal.
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER OF THE COMMERCIAL AVIATION ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHERN AFRICA