Open General Aviation in South Africa NOW!!!
Thank you to all those that have signed the petition that Safomar Aviation Operations started some days ago. The aim of the petition was to put a voice to the call to re-open General Aviation in South Africa and to have the regulatory body and the Covid-19 command council amongst others to separate General Aviation from Commercial Aviation Risk Factors. So far we have received overwhelming support from the industry, over 25 000 signatures and counting. Daily we receive phone calls, emails and messages of support.
We received from the SACAA after repeatedly tagging them into the results of the petition an email with attachments relating to a draft consultation that individually listed each sector of the economy and deemed risk factor based outcomes. Based on this draft outcome the sector/s were placed into various levels of the lock down. Aviation both GA and CA were lumped together into the same category, which resulted in an exceptionally high risk factor and placed any possibility of re-opening GA for business into Level 3. For obvious reasons being placed in the same category as CA, you can well imagine why GA scored such a high risk based outcome.
The outcome of this draft consultation report further assured us that the authorities both regulatory and the appointed command council in fact have little to no understanding of the glaring differences between GA and CA or knowingly chose not to canvass on behalf of the industry otherwise.
Attached to the links below you will find the original report and our re-assessed report (revised slides) separating CA and GA and the outcome risk factor. Results could not be further apart. Various other comments are made in the revised slides, which highlight the dire situation that GA is in currently as a result of the restrictions to operate enforced under level 4 lockdown, of which many would say "is a very misguided approach". Based on an actual industry experienced assessment, GA should fall into the same risk factor as professional services amongst others; that under Level 4 lock down have been granted interim approval to return to service.
Click on the links below to extract the original slides and the slides that were amended to accurately depict the differences between the two types of aviation operations. By way of email or social media direct message, Safomar Aviation Operations welcomes your feedback; Good or Bad and/or to highlight to us any other angle you would like to add to our assessed outcome, which will be shared with the authorities. Remember your contribution will remain anonymous - that's your right, unless you would like us to mention you or your organisation explicitly in our daily sharing's with the SACAA, CAASA, DOT and TETA.
In the past two days we have canvassed the ANC, DA and EFF Covid-19 respective response councils. We have received some phone calls to clarify evidence submitted to them in support of our plea to re-open GA. Our hope is that these pleas will not fall on deaf ears.
In addition to our petition there has been some correspondence from other concerned parties and aviation organisations making the rounds on social media and into the industry inboxes. Of course we support any and all such action but we feel that largely most of the correspondence and approach taken to get GA re-opened was approached from a politically correct stance, quoting regulations and so forth; not that this approach is incorrect, far be it for us to state that - any approach within reason is to be considered as correct. However at Safomar Aviation Operations we took the decision to approach this exercise from a heartfelt human appeal. This was as a direct result of correspondence received from many young pilots and students, their messages to us being simply written passionate, heart wrenching appeals to us, their training institution to help them continue to fulfill their dreams of flying or fixing aircraft. Added to these open hearted messages received were messages from private aircraft owners, GA maintenance clients and those pilots that just hired an aircraft on a Sunday morning for a Solo Sortie, to clear their minds of the clutter from a hard weeks work; the same pilots that chose social distancing alone at 6500 ft, long before the phrase was coined as an everyday survival technique. Least us also not forget our fellow colleagues in the GA industry, whom many have confidentially shared with us, that their business will not survive another months lockdown or until Aviation is permitted to re-open, under level 3 at best but in all likelyhood level 2.
So for all GA Aviators, I believe that we speak from ours and your souls for the urgent re-opening of General Aviation and the injustice of the whole situation. We realise that GA cannot open in totality having said that a large percentage can with little or NO threat to the spread of the virus.
In the past 24 hours the industry woke to the news of limited permission to carry out essential aircraft maintenance interventions but the controversy and mis-understanding around this glimmer of hope for those in the Aviation Maintenance sector, is fraught with legaslitive grey areas and only in the coming days will it be revealed the bumbled lack of clear understanding as to how and what we are actually allowed to do under the auspices of essential aircraft maintenance. Once again the glaring lack of communication from the regulatory body is evident.
In closing i thank you once again for signing our petition and I look forward to hearing more from you (the GA industry) in the coming hours and days. Updates on progress and additional actions taken will be shared regularly and if you haven't signed the petition yet, please click on the link to do so, every signature counts. In the interim we will continue to share results with the SACAA, DOT, CAASA, TETA and all political parties and more.
To you and yours, stay safe and we look forward to hearing you in the skies soon or meeting you in that training classroom.
The Safomar Aviation Operations Team.