Authority, Mandate and Governance

One of the most frequent questions posed to instructors is: “why must I be a member of SAHPA?”. In order to answer this question fully, it is necessary for pilots to understand where SAHPA is positioned in relation to the international legislative and regulatory framework.

It all starts with ICAO

The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) is funded and directed by 193 national governments to support their diplomacy and cooperation in air transport as signatory states to the Chicago Convention (1944).

Its core function is to maintain an administrative and expert bureaucracy (the ICAO Secretariat) supporting these diplomatic interactions, and to research new air transport policy and standardization innovations as directed and endorsed by governments through the ICAO Assembly, or by the ICAO Council which the assembly elects.

Industry and civil society groups, and other concerned regional and international organizations, also participate in the exploration and development of new standards at ICAO in their capacity as ‘Invited Organizations’.

As new priorities are identified by these stakeholders, the ICAO secretariat convenes panels, task forces, conferences and seminars to explore their technical, political, socio-economic and other aspects. It then provides governments with the best results and advice possible as they collectively and diplomatically establish new international standards and recommended practices for civil aviation internationally.

Once governments achieve diplomatic consensus around a new standard’s scope and details, it is then adopted by those same 193 countries in order to bring worldwide alignment to their national regulations, helping to realize safe, secure and sustainable air operations on a truly global basis.

The Civil Aviation Act

All Paragliding, Hang-Gliding and related air sports are regulated by the Civil Aviation Act of 2009.

The Civil Aviation Act 13 of 2009 provides for the establishment of a stand-alone authority who are mandated with controlling, promoting, regulating, supporting, developing, enforcing and continuously improving levels of safety and security throughout the civil aviation industry. This organisation is known as the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA, or also more commonly referred to as the CAA).

The South African Civil Aviation Authority

The South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) is a Schedule 3A public entity in terms of the Public Finance Management Act of 1999 (PFMA). It was established on 1 October 1998, following the enactment of the repealed South African Civil Aviation Authority Act 40 of 1998.

SACAA is an agency of the Department of Transport (DoT).

SACAA complies with the Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).

SACAA’s mandate for SAHPA

SACAA has issued the following mandate to SAHPA:

  • To oversee and develop the safe operation of its members and continuously evaluate compliance with the condition of its approved MOP, the SACAR and standards as determined by SACAA.
  • To advise SACAA on regulatory amendments applicable to its operation
  • To notify SACAA of any-non-compliance by its members of its MOP
  • Approval is subject to regular review and audits as required by SACAA from time to time

(see Civil Aviation Regulations 2011, as amended, Regulation 149.01.1)

Certificates issued by SACAA to SAHPA

The following certificates are evidence that SAHPA complies with the relevant requirements and is permitted to operate as both ARO and ATO:

Legislation & Regulations

Civil Aviation Act 13 of 2009

Civil Aviation Regulations (CARS)

Civil Aviation Technical Standards (CATS)

Section 163 of the Civil Aviation Act, 2009, empowers the Director of Civil Aviation to issue technical standards for civil aviation on the matters which are prescribed by regulation. The technical standards contain the standards, rules and requirements which are applicable in respect of particular Parts of the Regulations. The CATS must be read in conjunction with the CARS.

Aeronautical Information Publication (AIP)

An Aeronautical Information Publication (AIP) is defined by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) as a publication “intended primarily to satisfy international requirements for the exchange of aeronautical information of a lasting character essential to air navigation.”

  • CAA AIP (see section 5.5)

SAHPA Documentation

SAHPA Constitution

The SAHPA Constitution (Articles of Association, or Memorandum of Incorporation) provides the internal mechanisms of decision-making.

SAHPA Manual of Procedures (MOP)

The SAHPA Manual of Procedures (MOP) revision 4 was approved by SACAA on 25 August 2020 and came into effect from 1 September 2020. It replaces all previous MOP documents.

SAHPA Training & Procedures Manual (TPM)

Response to COVID-19