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About Airworthiness

The Department is comprised of three sections, namely Engineering Section, Aircraft Inspection and Registration Section and Aircraft Maintenance Organisations Section. Each of these sections is equipped with a wide-ranging level of expertise to discharge the required obligations.

Engineering Section

Certification Engineering Unit

The Certification Engineering unit's primarily functions include evaluation and verification of compliance with design and production standards for the issuance of type certificates and approval of changes to the type design and production standards with approved procedure.

The unit's Certification Engineers conduct surveillances and audits of organisations with design approvals, including approved organisations outside South Africa, in accordance with prescribed schedules to ensure compliance with regulatory requirements, furthermore the unit reviews data for aircraft modifications, including "on site evaluations" and review of such modifications and approval of parts and appliances for use in aircraft. Part of the function of this unit is to co-ordinate and manage the oversight of Designated Engineers and Approved Persons which may be appointed by the Authority and assist customer services with advice regarding certification. Lastly, the Certification Engineering unit's mandate is to provide technical advice and input in the development of educational, advisory information publications related to safety standards associated with aviation certification processes.

Manufacturing Unit

The Manufacturing unit primary functions includes conducting audits (new issue, renewal or amendment), surveillances to manufacturing organisations and performing aircraft product conformance inspections. The unit is also responsible for the issuance of production certificates and export approvals. Further to this the unit investigates production defects and carries out enforcement of production non-compliance. The unit is responsible for the initial issuance of a new Certificate of Airworthiness when an aircraft is first registered in South Africa.

Aircraft Maintenance Organisations Section

The function of this section is to ensure that aircraft and its components are maintained and released in accordance with South African Civil Aviation Regulations (SACAR) requirements and in accordance with acceptable international practices and standards, and this is handled by SACAA Approved Maintenance Organisations. To ensure compliance, SACAA Aviation inspectors conduct audits and surveillances to AMOs in accordance with schedules or randomly respectively, to obtain evidence that the organisations' activities conform to their specified objectives, policies, procedures, and practices, and that they conform to industry acceptable practices and standards; further to this, Airworthiness Inspectors are required to ensure that AMOs comply to the SACAA requirements with regards to safety in aviation.

Aircraft Inspection and Registration Section

Aircraft Registration Unit

This Section is responsible for aircraft and mortgage registrations and change of aircraft ownership to all Type Certified (TC) aircraft, Non-Type Certified Aircraft (NTCA) and Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS). The unit is also responsible for registration of airport vehicles fitted with transponders.

Aircraft Inspection Unit

The Aircraft Inspection unit primary function is to provide oversight to continued airworthiness of aircraft and unit's responsibility includes the issuance of a new Certificate of Airworthiness when an aircraft is first registered in South Africa, the re-issue of C of A's following an accident or the subsequent reinstatement of an aircraft which has been out of service for a specified period without being serviced or having its C of A renewed. The unit is also responsible for issuance and renewal of Authorities to fly (ATF) and RPAS Letter of Authority (RLA's). The unit also oversee all aspects of the airworthiness of aircraft by approving and accepting documents pertinent to the operation of the aircraft. The documents include: Approval of Mass and Balance; Acceptance of Aircraft Maintenance Schedules (AMP's) for NTCA; Acceptance of Aircraft Flight Manuals for NTCA.


Click here to see Detailed Sections Key Responsibilities 

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