Dear SAHPA member,
This is the SAHPA Chairman’s Annual Report for the 2022/2023 year. It is divided into 3 sections:
- Section 1 relates to internal governance,
- Section 2 describes the day-to-day operational issues which the committee attended to,
- Section 3 describes 5 resolutions which members will be given an opportunity to vote on.
While this is undoubtedly a long (20mins) read, I urge you to familiarise yourself with the contents before the AGM. Should you need to cross-reference with the legislation or regulations, you may use https://caa.mylexisnexis.co.za.
- Section 1 – Governance
- Section 2 – Operational Issues
- 2.1 Ab initio students
- 2.2 Introductory Flight Experience
- 2.3 Surveillance of tandem operations
- 2.4 The Part 106 Project
- 2.5 Disciplinary and Enforcement Action
- 2.6 Accident Register
- 2.7 Accidents and Fatalities
- 2.8 Aero Club of South Africa
- 2.9 CAA Fee increase
- 2.10 Competition & Event Sponsorship
- 2.11 Site Administration
- 2.12 The Membership Administration System
- 2.13 The SAHPA Office
- Section 3 – Resolutions
Section 1 – Governance
1.1 SAHPA ARO Certificate
SAHPA was audited by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) on 02 December 2022 (with no findings), and the SAHPA Aviation Recreation Organisation (ARO) certificate was renewed on the 7th December 2022. The scope of this approval is:
- To oversee the operation of its members,
- To continuously evaluate compliance with conditions of its Manual of Procedures (MOP) and the Civil Aviation Regulations 2011, and
- To notify SACAA of non-compliance of its members.
- This approval is valid until 31st January 2024 while the ARO remains compliant with
Part 149and its MOP.
CAA again conducted an ad-hoc audit on the 14th August 2023, with no findings.
See Audit Reports for a 3-year history of audits.
1.2 SAHPA ARO Committee 2022/2023
The following people served on the SAHPA Committee:
|Louis Stanford||Chairperson, ARO Accountable Manager||+27(27) firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Pete Wallenda||Vice Chair||+27 (83) email@example.com|
|Steve Burd||Treasurer||+27(67) 405-0004||Steve.firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Kevin Storie||Head of Safety, ARO Compliance Officer||+27(82) email@example.com|
|Louise Liversedge||Secretary, ARO Quality Manager||+27 (74) firstname.lastname@example.org|
* The post-holders for the SAHPA ATO were only effective until the SAHPA ATO certificate expired on 28th February 2023.
1.3 Project Status Report
|Proposal for a new Part 106||Regulatory||SAHPA||Kevin Storie||In progress||The proposal has been discussed within an ASO working group and the deadlock between SACAA and SAHPA has been broken. Kevin and Amina to refine Part 106 in line with changes made to Part 62 and resubmitted to the ASO Subcommittee for approval.|
|Proposed deletion of Part 96.01.6||Regulatory||CAA||Kevin Storie||In progress||The proposal has been discussed within an ASO working group and has been referred to CARCOM for consideration.|
|Proposed amendment to Part 149||Regulatory||CAA||Kevin Storie||In progress||The proposal has been discussed within an ASO working group and has been referred to CARCOM for consideration.|
|Proposed Amendment to Part 96||Regulatory||CAA||Kevin Storie||In progress||The proposal is being discussed in a Part 96 Working Group.|
|Membership Administration System (Phase 1)||System||SAHPA||Louis Stanford||Completed||Phase 1 focused on a like-for-like replacement of the Access Database.|
|Membership Administration System (Phase 2)||System||SAHPA||Louis Stanford||Not started||Phase 2 will focus on improvements related to Part 106, DTO and TFI|
|Rewrite of TFI Indemnity Books||Legal||SAHPA||Louis Stanford||Not started|
|Landowner permission from City of Cape Town||Legal||SAHPA||Louis Stanford||Completed|
|Landowner permission from George Municipality||Legal||SAHPA||Louis Stanford||In progress|
1.4 Expiry of the SAHPA ATO
The promulgation of the
21st Amendment of the Civil Aviation Regulations in November 2021, signalled a shift to the ‘Declared Training Organisation’ model, whereby all aviation schools were required to register directly with CAA instead of operating under an Aviation Training Organisation (ATO). This regulatory change is aligned to EASA regulatory trends in Europe, and affects all other sectors of recreational aviation, not just SAHPA-disciplines.
It it important to stress that for the past decade, schools commercial interests have overshadowed SAHPA’s original purpose of overseeing recreational aviation. In addition, certain schools actively resisted SAHPA’s role in overseeing their operations:
- In 2022, a school launched an urgent application against SAHPA in the Cape Town High Court. While an order by agreement was granted, this matter is ongoing.
- In 2022, a school launched a civil damages claim against Kevin Storie and Pete Wallenda in their personal capacities in the Gauteng South High Court. This matter is ongoing.
- Several instructors made threats of legal action against Louis Stanford.
Part 141 regulation was largely accepted by instructors, however there were a handful of instructors who were vocal in their discontent.
It must be stressed that it is untenable for any volunteer SAHPA committee to shoulder the risk and liability from commercially-orientated schools.
There is a maxim in business which states “he who takes the risk, earns the reward”. The
Part 141 DTO model places the risk and liability where it belongs: with the commercial entity/school/instructor that provides the tandem flight for remuneration.
For ordinary members this is a very positive development, as it allows SAHPA to once again focus on the recreational aspects: promoting, protecting and administering the sport.
Section 2 – Operational Issues
2.1 Ab initio students
The number of ab initio students (PG, PPG and HG combined) remained stable:
Of concern is the non-compliance by a small number of instructors who conduct illegal training of ab initio students. This has resulted in a significant number (33) of student licence applications being rejected by the regulator. The misconduct of these instructors is prejudicial to student pilots and it creates a lingering perception that schools are fly-by-night schemes.
SAHPA has escalated these cases to the regulator for enforcement action.
SAHPA cannot mediate in disputes between students and illegal schools. Students who have paid an illegal school for training and who then had their licence applications rejected, should refer the dispute to the Consumer Goods & Services Ombud, alternatively the Small Claims Court, and then make arrangements for re-training with an approved school with a valid DTO certificate.
2.2 Introductory Flight Experience
The Introductory Flight Experience segment has seen significant growth over the past 13 years. COVID had a devastating impact, but the industry is recovering fast.
* Data is missing for 2014 and 2015
** Data is based on the number of ‘Indemnity books’ that are sold in batches to schools.
However, there is a regulatory storm cloud that still hangs over this industry:
CAA published SACAA General Notice ATO PEL2021-ATO001-Rev3-29Oct21 in October 2021 which states that flipping operations under
Part 141 are illegal, and instructed that flipping operations must cease and register instead as
Part 96 operations, which in turn requires an Air Service Licence.
The requirements for an Air Service Licence (as required by
Part 96) are currently unachievable, amongst others:
- it is impossible to obtain Passenger Liability Insurance,
- TFI pilots require a commercial pilots licence, and
- equipment must be serviced by an Authorised Maintenance Organisation.
There is a pending update to the Civil Aviation Act which makes provision for Adventure Flights, however it is not known when this legislation will be promulgated.
The CAA is currently conducting workgroups with industry to amend
Part 96 - Commercial Operation of Non-Type Certified Aircraft. SAHPA is involved in these workshops to establish a sustainable and achievable means of compliance for Tandem Flight operations, however this is complicated by the Air Services Licensing Act which falls under the authority of the Department of Transport.
We therefore support and are actively engaged in the development of a suitable regulatory framework to legally conduct Tandem Flights for remuneration, however this must be balanced against the need to separate commercial interests from the recreational aspects of the sport.
2.3 Surveillance of tandem operations
In early 2022, a TFI instructor sent a written complaint to the Director of Civil Aviation, with allegations that SAHPA was engaged in racketeering, price-fixing and other violations of the Competition Act. This misguided complaint resulted in the regulator conducting surveillance of tandem operations at various sites. CAA inspectors concluded that tandem flight operations were illegal flipping operations taking place under the guise of training.
“Please take note that a DTO conducting flight training may not conduct flipping operations as defined in CAR96.01.1(7) as this is not a training flight and would be a contravention of CAR141.08.1(1) & (2) and CAR 141.08.2(1)a) liable to enforcement action under CAR 185.01.2(g).” – Blake Vorster, Head of PEL-Training at CAA.
As all training operations were conducted under the banner of the SAHPA ATO, the accountability for illegal operations lay unfairly on the shoulders of SAHPA Committee members until the suspension and expiry of the SAHPA ATO.
With the widespread adoption of the
Part 141 DTO model, there is now a clear separation between SAHPA and commercially-driven school operations.
2.4 The Part 106 Project
In 2019, SAHPA made a proposal for a new
Part 106 of the Civil Aviation Regulations (CAR) and Civil Aviation Technical Standards (CATS). SAHPA proposed to extract provisions for paragliding and hang-gliding out of
Part 62 and
Part 94, and to consolidate these into a dedicated regulatory
Part 106 in the same way that other disciplines are catered for:
Part 68– Glider Pilot Licence
Part 69– Free Balloon Pilot Licence
Part 71– RPAS Personnel Licensing
Part 72– Remote Pilot Licence
Part 105– Parachuting and Dropzones
SAHPA’s proposal for a new
Part 106 is therefore a forward-thinking regulatory development which will bring PG/HG in line with international trends.
Part 106 project has frequently been delayed by the regulatory development process, however in past few weeks significant progress has been made, with both SAHPA and CAA agreeing to proceed with the CARCOM process. It is now expected that
Part 106 will be published for public comment in early 2024.
2.5 Disciplinary and Enforcement Action
On the 2nd November, seven tandem instructors launched (with passengers) from Signal Hill directly into an approaching thunderstorm, with some pilots caught in a strong gust front. One of the pilots landed in Sea Point and collided with a motor vehicle. This event attracted significant negative attention on social media, and also the attention of the Department of Transport and the CAA.
SAHPA initiated disciplinary action against these pilots, whilst the CAA conducted their own investigation. All seven pilots were suspended by both SAHPA and the CAA.
In addition, the CAA initiated
Part 185 enforcement action against:
- an instructor for landing with his passenger in a security estate without permission,
- two instructors for multiple infringements,
- two instructors for conducting training operations without approval from CAA.
While many of these have been concluded, some are still under investigation and enforcement action by the CAA.
SAHPA and CAA are also firmly addressing the problem of unlicensed speed-wing pilots flying from SAHPA sites, with one speed-wing pilot already undergoing enforcement action, and several more to follow. These self-trained, unlicensed pilots present a significant risk to the public and also SAHPA members, with one high-speed near-miss being reported recently by a tandem pilot.
2.6 Accident Register
This year, SAHPA undertook to consolidate all accident information into a comprehensive Accident Register which contains record of all serious accidents, rescues and fatalities over the past 25 years. It has been a significant task to research, correct and make this information accessible to all members.
The Accident Register has highlighted a number of notable trends, one being:
- In the past 3 years there have been 24 helicopter rescues (at an estimated cost of R1.8m per rescue, or R43m, which is borne by the South African taxpayer). Of these, 19 rescues were of foreign pilots, and 17 of these foreign pilots did not have SAHPA membership.
- In other words, in the last three years a projected R30m of taxpayer funds has been spent on unregistered foreign pilots.
The contents of the Accident Register are beyond the scope of this Annual Report, and you are therefore encouraged to explore the data and discuss with fellow club members.
2.7 Accidents and Fatalities
Eighteen accidents were reported, of which three were fatalities:
- A foreign instructor launching a solo mini-wing at Lion’s Head on 10th January 2023.
- An instructor on a solo cross-country flight near Wolesley on 25th February 2023.
- A tandem passenger who drowned after instructor and passenger landed in the sea on 4th July 2023. This accident is currently under investigation by the Accident and Incident Investigation Division (AIID).
2.8 Aero Club of South Africa
Aero Club of South Africa (AeCSA) membership is a contentious subject, as most SAHPA members do not participate in AeCSA events and thus question the value and benefits of AeCSA membership.
However, AeCSA plays a significant but under-appreciated role in advocating for, and representing SAHPA interests to the Civil Aviation Authority (see 2.10 below). It is vital that SAHPA members remain members of the Aero Club to ensure that this advocacy continues.
The SAHPA Committee has included a proposal (see Resolution 4, below) that SAHPA negotiate and sign a fixed-fee corporate membership with AeCSA, so that being a SAHPA member automatically includes Aero Club membership.
2.9 CAA Fee increase
In the past few years CAA has conducted an Activity Based Costing (ABC) exercise to benchmark their internal processes against fees being charged. Very recently, CAA presented a proposal to significantly increase fees across the industry in line with the “user pays” principle.
However, some very good news: AeCSA engaged in several workshops with CAA to raise concerns about these increases. The CAA finance managers made a significant concession to reduce licence renewal fees for all PPL/NPL licence holders. This has not yet been finalised, however we are confident that members will be pleased with the final outcome.
2.10 Competition & Event Sponsorship
SAHPA sponsored the following competitions and events:
|Dec 2022||Porterville Pre-PWC 2022||Buitepos Paragliding Club||R50 000|
|June 2023||Barberton 2023||Lowveld Slope Soaring Club||R10 000|
|Sept 2023||Gatskop 2023||The Glen Paragliding Club||R10 000|
These sponsorship are restricted to costs related to Ambulance and Paramedics.
The SAHPA Committee also considered an application for sponsorship for the Wilderness Flying Festival. The committee expressed reservations about the planned dates and strongly advised the WFF planning committee to plan a festival outside of the festive season.
Certain members have expressed their dissatisfaction at the Competition and Event Sponsorship Policy and we have thus included Resolution 5 which allows all members to vote on this issue.
2.11 Site Administration
All SAHPA launch sites are published in the AIP ENR 5.5, a quarterly publication by the CAA. These sites are also communicated to insurance brokers for 3rd Party Liability Aviation Insurance. The SAHPA Site Register has not been updated in over a decade, which means that there a) are listed sites which no longer exist, b) new sites that are not yet recorded and c) launch sites which have moved some distance from the original site.
SAHPA has embarked on a project to update the ENR 5.5 and correct these inaccuracies, and also obtain updated written permission from landowners (as required by
CAR Part 94.06.2 (1)(g)). With more than 300 launch sites, and many more landing sites, this is not an insignificant task.
Club members are invited to review the SAHPA Site Register. Safety officers will be requested to assist with missing information.
- Obtaining permission from the City of Cape Town for launch and landing sites around the peninsula,
- Obtaining permission from George Municipality for launch and landing sites in the Garden Route Area,
- Registering two new sites at Gericke’s in Wilderness,
- Registering two new launch sites at Kardoesie near Citrusdal,
- Registering a new site at Ruimsig Stadium near Roodepoort,
- Negotiating with the new airport owners in Cape Town, to protect current airspace privileges at Rondebossie.
2.12 The Membership Administration System
In 2021, SAHPA initiated a strategic project to design, build and implement the new SAHPA Membership Administration System (MAS). This was to replace the unreliable and now woefully inadequate MS Access-database system. The new MAS has been tested, data imported and the system formally goes live on the 1st October 2023. All renewals and upgrades are already being processed using the new system.
The MAS is designed on the ‘full member lifecycle’ principle. This MAS project has already resulted in significant productivity gains for the SAHPA office and will have a long-lasting impact on membership renewals in future.
The MAS has also created a foundation for further enhancements: depending on the outcome of Resolution 3, the system may be enhanced with additional functionality to streamline the record-keeping tasks of schools/instructors and ensure compliance with
Part 141 and
2.13 The SAHPA Office
The availability of the SAHPA Office has been affected by common forms of disruption which South Africans have become accustomed to. Some of the issues:
- Load-shedding. SAHPA bought a generator to improve continuity through load-shedding. Unfortunately, extended load-shedding (in excess of 2 hours) means that nearby cellphone towers go offline, which results in the SAHPA Office being unavailable.
- Access to fibre internet. The boundary for fibre access is just 100m away. We have not yet been successful in convincing OpenServ or Octotel to extend their service to the SAHPA Office. Access to fibre would ensure that the SAHPA Office has faster access to web-based services, but will also ensure internet access during longer load-shedding periods. This is ongoing.
- Service Delivery Protests and Land invasions. There have been occasional flare-ups of service delivery protests and land invasions nearby the SAHPA Office, which have raised concerns about employee safety.
- Laptops. Both laptops were replaced in May 2022 as the previous laptops were quite old and had degraded battery life. These new laptops have improved the continuity of the SAHPA Office during load-shedding.
Section 3 – Resolutions
Resolution 1 – Update to the SAHPA Memorandum of Incorporation
The SAHPA committee intends to amend the SAHPA Memorandum of Incorporation (MOI, previously known as the Constitution) to confirm the privileges of ordinary members and restrict the privileges of temporary members.
Proposal: That the MOI be changed to include only Ordinary members to participate in the nomination and election process, and to exclude Temporary Members (Foreign and Student members).
Rationale: Foreign and student members are temporary memberships, and more often than not, these members do not have any sustainable interest in SAHPA matters.
Resolution 2 – Disciplinary Process
The SAHPA Committee intends to amend the SAHPA MOI, the SAHPA Code of Conduct and the SAHPA Disciplinary process to align with the Promotion of Administrative Justice Act (PAJA).
Proposal: To modify a) the SAHPA Disciplinary Process, b) the SAHPA Code of Conduct and c) the SAHPA MOI to:
- further align these documents to the principles and practices of the Promotion of Administrative Justice Act (PAJA) and the proposed amendments to
Part 149of the Civil Aviation Regulations,
- refine the SAHPA director’s responsibility and authority to suspend and revoke membership,
- to exclude members who have been been found guilty of misconduct by either SAHPA or SACAA, from being committee members for a period of 5 years.
Rationale: Experience has shown that the SAHPA MOI, Code of Conduct and Disciplinary Process are ambiguous and not fully aligned with the Promotion of Administrative Justice Act (PAJA).
Resolution 3 – Temporary Student Membership Fees
The SAHPA Committee intends to make a decision regarding the Temporary Student Membership fees for Tandem Flight Instruction and establish a fund which is to be used to promote safety and compliance.
Proposal: Change the Temporary Student Membership fee by:
- a) increasing the fee to R20 per student tandem passenger, or
- b) increasing the fee to R35 per student tandem passenger, or
- c) increasing the fee to R50 per student tandem passenger, or
- d) should remain unchanged at R10 per student tandem passenger.
Rationale: The current R10 Temporary Student Membership barely covers 3rd Party Liability Aviation Insurance, printing and courier costs. SAHPA therefore earns less than R50 000pa from a R75m per year industry. By increasing the Temporary Student Membership fee, SAHPA will have an alternative source of revenue which may be used productively to improve safety and compliance.
To put the proposed fee increase in context:
- the fee was originally set at R25 per tandem passenger from 2010 to 2013,
- the fee was reduced to R15 per tandem passenger until 2014,
- the fee was reduced again to R10 per tandem passenger in 2015.
- SANParks levies R65 per flight from Signal Hill,
- CAA charges R29 per airline passenger per flight,
- Tandem flights from Signal Hill are now priced at approximately R1600 per flight.
In line with good corporate governance principles, a fund will be established with a policy on how proceeds may be spent.
Resolution 4 – AeroClub Corporate Membership
The SAHPA Committee intends to eliminate the confusion and ambiguity about AeCSA membership and establish a corporate membership contract with AeCSA.
Proposal: That SAHPA signs a fixed-fee corporate membership with AeroClub and increases SAHPA membership fees accordingly.
Rationale: to support AeCSA advocacy whilst reducing the administrative burden on SAHPA members.
Resolution 5 – Sponsorship of Competitions & Events
The SAHPA committee intends to amend the SAHPA Sponsorship Policy, based on feedback from SAHPA members, on how, and how much of member funds may be used for sponsorship purposes.
Proposal: To make a provision for SAHPA’s sponsorship of competitions and events through the establishment of a Competition and Event Sponsorship fund:
- a) SAHPA should sponsor club competitions and events, with all SAHPA members contributing R50pa to a Competition and Event Sponsorship fund (R38 000pa), or
- b) SAHPA should sponsor club competitions and events, with all SAHPA members contributing R100pa to a Competition and Event Sponsorship fund (R76 000pa), or
- c) SAHPA should sponsor club competitions and events, with all SAHPA members contributing R200pa to a Competition and Event Sponsorship fund (R152 000pa), or
- d) SAHPA should not sponsor competitions or events. Competition and Event organisers should recover costs from participant entry fees on the ‘User Pays’ principle.
Rationale: There are diverse opinions amongst members about SAHPA’s sponsorship of competitions and events.
I wish to thank the SAHPA staff and volunteers who have made it possible to navigate a particularly difficult year:
- A very special thank you to the SAHPA Office (Mrs. Louise Liversedge and Ms. Lisa Ncube) who have worked diligently through a period of transition and upheaval,
- The SAHPA Executive Committee (Mr. Steve Burd, Mr. Pete Wallenda and Mr. Kevin Storie) for navigating the seemingly endless flow of decisions,
- The SAHPA Technical Committee (Mr. Basjan van Heerden, Mr. Lennox Olivier, Mr. Kevin Storie) for representing the technical and safety aspects of each discipline, and being additional voices of reason,
- The National Safety Committee (Mr Kevin Storie, Mr Clayton Vermeulen, Mr Jan Minnaar) for upholding the Safety standard,
- The ad-hoc disciplinary committee (Adv. Piet van Niekerk, Mr. Russell Achterberg, Mr. Gareth Flowaday and Mr. Michele Lodi-Fè) for handling a difficult process with objectivity and fairness.
- Mr Ria Moothilal, who conducted the accident investigation into a fatal accident.
I also thank SAHPA members for your ongoing support and patience.
This report will undoubtedly raise further questions. I would urge you to please send an email to email@example.com. In addition, we will also provisionally host a 60min Q&A session on Monday 2nd October 2023 at 18:00, to answer any concerns with the proposed resolutions.
+27 79 143 9009