“We don’t receive wisdom; we must discover it for ourselves after a journey that no one can make for us or spare us.”
African Pilot’s June edition
In a departure from previous years the June edition of African Pilot has presented a comprehensive Light Sport Aircraft feature covering 49 LSA types from all over the world. This time the LSA types have been presented as an editorial, whilst providing readers with the website of every LSA manufacture so that as a reader you can check out the details of the aircraft type. Once again due to the COVID-19 lockdown, where most shops are still closed the June edition will be sent to all readers in its digital format. This exciting new method of publishing has many advantages such as almost immediate access, high quality in page view format, little or no cost to readers and instant access to ALL advertisers’ websites. Frankly, there are very few disadvantages, especially now that almost every person has a smart device such as a cellphone, iPad or computer. The world has changed and things will never be the same again!
African Pilot’s July edition
Now that the June edition has been completed, our team has made a start on the July edition that will feature Aviation Training and Flight Schools. The deadline for the July edition has been revised to Friday 12 June and I wish to thank all contributors and advertisers for their wonderful support during this sad period in South African and indeed world history. For advertising opportunities please contact Adrian Munro at Cell: 079 880 4359 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank You
The following are links to all the magazines that African Pilot produced this year so that you can download all the 2020 editions in magazine view format:
WhatsApp your questions or concerns to
+27 (0)60 012 3456
The Aero Club and CAASA are assisting the SACAA with collating maintenance flight permissions request during Lockdown period. You can apply and submit your maintenance flight requests via the link below. Please ensure that the following documentation are available to be included in the submission:
• Copy of your maintenance preservation protocol letter
• Certificate of Airworthiness
• Certificate of release to service
About African Pilot
There is no doubt that African Pilot provides the finest overall media reach of all aviation publications in Africa where we are in a position to provide professional video and stills photography, website development, social media platforms, company newsletters as well as several other important media services to our customers. Naturally the monthly printed magazine has an incredibly long shelf life due to its excellent design and layout. Then of course the monthly magazine is also available as a digital edition where ALL advertisers have enjoy the direct routing to their websites at a touch on a smart phone or tablet as well as a click of the mouse on a computer screen.
Do you want instant aviation news and opinions?
Visit www.APAcom.co.za and register yourself as a user
What happened in aviation over the past week?
Airports Company South Africa
This week ACSA briefed Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Transport on proposed changes to its corporate plan necessitated by travel restrictions imposed by governments around the world in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The company informed the portfolio committee that it has been revising its corporate plan in line with scenarios that set out the potential impacts of COVID-19 and travel restrictions on traffic volumes and thus on its financial performance and position. The company developed potential future scenarios to which it could respond dependent on the sustainability of airlines and the traffic volume demand post COVID-19.
In the company’s ‘New Normal’ scenario, which is its worst-case scenario, it anticipates that the impact on traffic volume demand and airline sustainability will be long-term. Under this scenario, traffic volume is estimated to decline by up to 50% in 2020 / 21, an unprecedented impact on the global aviation sector. The New Normal scenario further includes significant responses introduced by management to mitigate the impact of the traffic volume decline anticipated. These include reductions to operational expenditure and limitations to capital expenditure. Previously planned capital expenditure of R17.9-billion over the next three years will now be capped at R1-billion a year. Reports that the reduction is from R41-billion to R5.8-billion are therefore incorrect. The result of this scenario leads to a funding requirement over a five- to six-year period of up to R11-billion. Of this amount, government support of up to R3-billion may be required in the next three years.
It is important to note that the financial position of the company was solid prior to Covid-19. The company had no intention of requiring government support. The company emphasised that the support would be in the form of guarantees and not bailouts. The company also set out the implications of the recent downgrade of its debt by Moody’s Investor Service which also put Airports Company South Africa on notice for a review. Moody’s said that factors that would lead to a further downgrade included if it failed to strengthen its liquidity profile, if credit metrics were to weaken on a sustained basis, if there was a significant medium to longer term impact on traffic volumes or a sovereign downgrade. Moody’s said that factors that could lead to avoiding a downgrade included strengthening its liquidity profile, restoring its financial profile to the levels commensurate with the current rating and evidence of government support.
Commenting after the portfolio committee presentation, CEO Mpumi Mpofu said that, outside of the healthcare sector, the aviation industry is being hit hardest by the reduction of commercial flying both in South Africa and around the world. “Airports are complex operations where fewer than 10% of the people working there are directly employed by ACSA. We are therefore acutely aware of the Covid-19 impact on our entire ecosystem. Our efforts to mitigate the business impact of COVID-19 are essential if we are to help preserve the livelihoods of thousands of people in the sector”.
She says ACSA believes the aviation sector’s most critical issue is the sustainability of airlines worldwide. Domestically the situation is rather unclear with SAA, SA Express and Comair under business rescue. ACSA has made proposals on the resumption of domestic services, but the decision lies with the Department of Transport when it issues regulations for Level 3 arrangements. “The situation in aviation is fluid. New estimates of the impact of Covid-19 are emerging almost daily. However, it is essential to take steps now to mitigate the impact. We will be guided by unfolding events and revisit plans accordingly. “Airports Company South Africa has taken pride in its standing as a well-run state-owned company that has made a profit in all but one of its 26 years. While the circumstances in which we now find ourselves are extremely challenging, we will continue to apply the commitment and discipline that has served us well,” said Mpofu.
Aero Club communique May 2020 #5
Maintenance related flights – Aircraft engine and system health
With reference to the granting of flight requests related to maintenance activities since 1 May, the initial General Notice covered three scenarios, position flights for valid and expired CRS and continued airworthiness flights for those aircraft having engines and systems with a maintenance preservation protocol. The latter has resulted in a demand on the SACAA to process formal applications, to an extent that an opportunity was seen to streamline and simplify the process, to which the Aero Club together with CAASA and industry collaborated with the SACAA to develop in record time a web based application to facilitate granting of flight requests with quick turnaround times.
Since the idea was brainstormed on 14 May, development started on 16 May on a web based application tool with a working demonstration on 19 May, to a final sign off and demonstration between all our collaboration partners on 20 May and now going live on 21 May. This is in true spirit of finding a way to a solution in support of all General Aviation and Recreational Aviation and a small step forward in re-opening the skies for all of us. Given that the airspace is still governed under the rules of the National Command Council, we needed a way to ensure that the airspace is managed for our type of flights.
Thus a procedure was developed to allow us to carry out continued airworthiness flights at our home base to be flown within three nm of the airfield (essentially circuits) for +/- 60 minutes which can be done without a flight plan being filed, those aircraft required to stretch their legs for a longer distance that will find three nm to be constrained will need to file a flight plans with a defined route. The procedure has been written up and made available on the Aero Club of CAASA websites, with a link to the application tool. This will be live from the morning of the 21 May 2020.
This will be a no cost service to everybody in General Aviation and Recreational Aviation, facilitated by the Aero Club and CAASA and everybody is welcome to use this. However, the SACAA will still facilitate flight requests via their standard process should that be preferred. The application registers users (owners / pilots) to provide details of aircraft to be flown, upload documentation, whereby the Aero Club and CAASA staff will assist in checking validity prior to submission to the SACAA who will provide approvals. Each step of the application process will keep the user informed on the status of the application via e-mail and SMS, where once approved, flight activation takes place within a seven day window of approval date, whereby flight start and end is to be recorded which will reflect as a live link for the SACAA and ATNS to observe. Please ensure that your engine / systems preservation maintenance protocol forms part of the documentation pack and be in contact with your AMO / AP for expert input in this regard.
We trust this process will work out for all of us and let us know if you have problems / issues – as you know a software system is never perfect or finished.
SACAA faces financial crash if aviation lockdown continues much longer
The South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) has warned Parliament that it could survive only seven months if the national lockdown and ban on air transport continued. Due to almost no civil aviation activity, the authority is not earning any income. Should the period of lockdown for the aviation industry exceed seven months, it is likely that the SACAA will run out of reserves. A significant portion of the SACAA’s income is generated by passenger tax and number of air passengers in South Africa this financial year could be 84% lower than in the previous financial year. This means that the authority will probably require government financial support. Assuming the aviation lockdown lasted just five, which is the SACAA’s ‘optimistic scenario’ and passenger numbers for the year were 77% down, then the authority will be in a position to last about ten months.
The direct result is that the SACAA is seeking to cut running costs, whilst capital expenditure was being postponed for 12 months. Local and foreign travel is being deferred. Public relations events that had been sponsored have been suspended. Savings were being sought on aircraft maintenance costs. Human resources costs such as recruitment, training and new bursaries were being cut. Discretionary spending on items such as catering, consumables, stationery and uniforms are all being curtailed.
The core mandate of the SACAA is aviation safety and security and in the face of the pandemic, the agency was making use of ‘technology platforms’ for the processing of licences and approvals. It had also granted extensions and exemptions regarding some authorisations, until the lockdown was lifted. When required, physical inspections were still being carried out. The development of regulations, except for emergency regulations, have been postponed until after the lockdown. Planned follow-up audits by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (a specialist agency of the United Nations) would also be postponed.
The SACAA has already developed plans for the transition to lockdown Level 3, which would allow some domestic air travel. On the announcement of Level 3, it would be able to immediately supply key regulatory services to the industry. These would include the issuing of new and the renewal of existing, pilot, aircraft maintenance, cabin crew, instructor and other licences. It would also be able to approve certificates for air operators, airports, air maintenance organisations and other key organisations. Furthermore, the regulator will be able to carry out all its oversight functions. It would also issue guidelines for the sector, in compliance with the regulations for Level 3 issued by the responsible Ministers.
Editor comments: Clearly, like ALL State-Owned Entities (SPOEs), over the years the SACAA has bulked up its number of employees as it also became a ‘perfect BBEEE company’. The problem with ALL these SOE models is that they are not sustainable in the long term. As the lockdown continues, what is happening throughout South Africa clearly shows where the tax income comes from and as taxpayers, we are becoming increasingly reluctant to continue bailing out SOEs that have been financially stripped by corrupt managers. Only when we see some of these fraudsters and criminals wearing orange pyjamas, will we be convinced that the government means business.
What is scheduled for the next few weeks?
Save the date - Webinar - Aviation - Remove the Rust
When we start flying again. Please join your hosts PilotInsure with some of the best brains in aviation. We will be covering several subjects into what to expect and what to do before jumping in the left seat.
More details to follow
Save the date 28 May 18h00
Weekly News from African Pilot
Should you miss out on any edition of APAnews, please visit the website: www.africanpilot.co.za and click on the APAnews link on the front page. All past weekly APAnews publications have been archived on the website.
Until next Monday, please be ‘Serious about flying’.
Athol Franz (Editor)
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