Urgent Notices

Notice 2024/1:  Obstacle Assessment Service Providers

Refer to AIC 001-2024, effective 22 April 2024

The purpose of this AIC is to communicate and advise obstacle assessment applicants of the approved service providers under Civil Aviation Regulations Part 178, which will be responsible for the assessments of obstacle applications. 

According to the Civil Aviation Act 13 of 2009, the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) is mandated to regulate all aviation activities to ensure the safe, secure and environmentally compliant efficient conduct of civil aviation activities within the State. The obstacle assessments, currently being conducted by SACAA, are seen as a service provision function, which is not in accordance with the Authority’s mandate.

In compliance with Civil Aviation Regulations Part 178, the CAA has approved a service provider that will be responsible for the assessment of all obstacle applications, and it is in the process of approving more service providers under the same regulations. The current service provider has met all the requirements, as outlined in CAR Part 178, and has been duly approved to perform this function.

Note that from date of publication of this AIC, the SACAA will no longer be accepting any applications for assessment of obstacles, as it will be assuming the oversight role, of reviewing assessments conducted by Part 178 approval holders, in accordance with the applicable regulations. Therefore, all new applications must be lodged with the approved obstacle assessment service providers. The list and contact details of the approved obstacle assessment service providers are listed below:

Obstacle Evaluator
ATNS Head Office
Tel: +2711 6071000 (Ask for Obstacle Evaluators)
Email:  Obstacles@atns.co.za

Obstacle Notice 1/2023 – Updated information on Windfarm and Solar Obstacle Application Service Provider

Kindly be advised, Air Traffic and Navigation Services (ATNS) has been appointed as the Obstacle application Service Provider for Windfarms on 1 May 2021. They will be also responsible for Solar Obstacle Applications from the 1’st of February 2022.  All new Solar applications must be lodged to obstacles@atns.co.za or contact Winnie Lekabe via WhatsApp at 082 419 1912.

Their responsibility would pertain to the assessments, maintenance, and all other related matters in respect to Windfarms and Solar assessments.

Obstacle Notice 3/2021:  Compulsory “As Built” Obstacle Application Submissions Required.

Applicants & Structure Owners are requested to take note:

  • Application Sites, 2016 and prior (SACAA Granted Conditional Approval) will become void as of the 1st of April 2022, if no communication and or “As Built” applications are received.
  • All “As Built” applications forms and Final Approved Building Plans to be submitted to obstacles@caa.co.za with an email header titled “As Built Submission”.
  • Visit the Forms page for the application form (As Built Submission Spreadsheet v1.0).
Obstacle Notice 4/2020 Amending Obstacle Information

Kindly note that with immediate effect, assessments will be conducted on the obstacle information as it stands in the application as provided to the Obstacle Inspectorate.

Should applicants wish to amend the information in an application, applicants will be required to resubmit a new application which will be subject to the fees as published in Part 187.

Please also note that obstacle assessments will be conducted on obstacles applications only after payment in full has been received and confirmed by our finance office.


Obstacle Notice 4/2019: As Built Submission Spreadsheet

Applicants & Structure Owners are requested to take note that an “As Built Submission Spreadsheet” is available under Forms for the submission of “as built” structure information.  Please take note of the Instructions & Explanatory Notes as it contains important information on how to complete the form.  Failure to adhere to these instructions could lead to the submission being rejected.

Obstacle Notice 3/2019: Request for Amendment of Obstacle Application or Approval

Applicants are requested to follow the following procedure when requesting an amendment to an obstacle application or approval:

  1. Send an email to the Obstacle Inspectorate requesting an amendment to an application or approval containing the following information:
    • CAA Obstacle ID
    • Site Name
    • Site ID
    • Latitude (in Degrees Minutes Seconds)
    • Longitude (in Degrees Minutes Seconds)
    • Site Elevation (The orthometric height of the site above Mean Sea Level)
    • Sub-Structure Height (Height of a foundation, footing, plinth, etc).
    • Super-Structure Height (Height of the structure above the Sub-Structure)
    • Total Height of Structure (Sub-Structure Height + Super-Structure Height)
    • Elevation to top of structure (Site Elevation + Total Height of Structure)
    • Reason for Amendment Request
  2. Forward the email to obstacles@caa.co.za with subject line “Request for Amendment – CAA_201x_x_xxx)”.

Please Note:

  1. If the Sub-Structure Height is less than 2m, please enter 0m as the Sub-Structure Height but include it to the Structure Height, rounded up to the nearest metre.
  2. Attach a copy of the site plan & engineer/design drawings of the structure (the same design documents normally submitted to local councils).
  3. The SACAA may request the submission of a new application.

Obstacle Notice 5/2018: Application Requirements for Developments, Township Development Plans or Rezoning Applications

Applicants for Developments, Township Development Plans or Rezoning Applications are requested to take note of the following: 

  1. Please ensure at least 1 month for the processing of the application.
  2. Only submit 1 (one) CA139-27 application form for the site.
  3. For “Type of Structure” select “Building”.
  4. For “Attached Documents (if applicable)” tick “Other” & attach copies of the Site Development Plan, including Elevation drawings.
  5. The coordinates stated on the application form have to be specified in WGS84 Latitude & Longitude (Degrees, Minutes & Seconds) & must the centre point of the site.
  6. The “Site Elevation” field has to specify the elevation above Mean Sea Level, for the highest ground point on the site.
  7. The “Structure Height (m)” must be the height of the tallest structure planned for the site.
  8. The “Sub-Structure Height (m)” must be “0” (zero metres) but the height of the foundation/footing/plinth above ground level must be added to the “Structure Height (m)”, if not already included.
  9. The “Height to top of structure” field is the sum of values required under Point 6, 7 & 8 above.
  10. The following information has to be stated in the “Notes” block:
    • Add “Development”, “Township Development Application” or “Rezoning Application” as applicable for the application.
    • The construction site extent, specified as a radius in metres, from the centre point of the site to the furthest point of the site (i.e. A circle, centred on the centre point of the site & drawn with the radius specified, will encompass the whole site.

  11. When the application is submitted to the SACAA, change the email subject line to “DEVELOPMENT APPLICATION.  Please telephonically report that the application was submitted.
  12. Please note that separate applications are required for cranes.

Queries regarding this requirement can be directed to the Obstacle Inspectorate.

Obstacle Notice 2/2018: Requirements for Payment of Obstacle Applications

When making payment (bank deposit or EFT) for the obstacle applications, applicants are requested to use specific payment references.  Please click here for guidelines on Payment Reference Requirements

Obstacle Application Process

Click here to learn more…

Guidance Documents

Development Around Aerodromes

Click here for guidance document


Any communications structure, building or other structure, whether temporary or permanent, which has the potential to endanger aviation in navigable airspace, or has the potential to interfere with the operation of navigation or surveillance systems or Instrument Landing Systems, including meteorological systems for aeronautical purposes, is considered an OBSTACLE and shall be submitted to the Commissioner for Civil Aviation for evaluation (refer SA-CAR Part 139.01.30)

Objects Affecting Airpsace

Does my structure require lights or any other markings?
Obstacles are evaluated individually and marking (If any) are specified as requirements.

The following syntax are used:

  1. None:
    There are no requirements as far as the marking of the structure is concerned and may be left as is, camouflaged as a pink elephant, a tree, signpost etc.
  2. Night Markings:
    Night markings are the addition of lights at the highest practical point of a structure to make such a structure more visible in darkness and poor light conditions. This will be found mostly on communications structures below 45m in height above ground where the need is identified to improve its visibility. The lights on top of these structures are ALWAYS used in pairs, for redundancy purposes, and shall be approved steady burning, red aeronautical obstruction lights of at least 10 candela, unless specified differently. Night markings may also be applied to buildings or other substantial structures, which by its size and appearance cannot be overlooked in normal visibility conditions, such as a skyscraper, the cooling towers of a power station, mine headgear etc. but the need is identified to improve its visibility at night and poor visibility conditions. Such structures shall be illuminated by aeronautical obstruction lights, as above, clearly defining the outline of the structure in accordance with ICAO Annex 14 chapter 6, unless specified differently. Where this is not achievable due to practical considerations, different means of compliance may be specified or allowed, after investigation. This may be in the form of flood lighting, effect lighting (such as illuminated advertisements) etc.
  3. Day and Night Markings:
    Day and night markings apply to all structures exceeding 45m above the ground in South Africa by default (refer SA-CAR Part 139.01.33), or lower structures when specified. Such structures may include structures where the top of the structure exceeds 150m above the MEAN ground level, like on top of a hill, and the mean ground level considered to be the lowest point in a 3 Kilometer radius around such structure. Lower structures, which are otherwise considered as a danger to aviation, shall also be marked as such when specified.
    Paint markings (Day markings) shall be in compliance with ICAO Annex 14 chapter 6 and shall consist of seven painted bands, each one seventh of the length of the structure, and shall consist of bands of International Orange (or Post Office red) alternated by brilliant white, starting and ending in orange/red, to a maximum length of 30 meters per band (i.e. a 210m mast). Thereafter it becomes 9 bands, each one ninth of the length of the mast up to 270m, 11 bands up to 330m etc.
    Lights (Night marking) to be used shall consist of a pair of steady burning approved red aeronautical obstruction lights of at least 32 candela each at the highest practical point of the structure. This may be substituted by a medium intensity Type B flashing red light (20 – 60 flashes per minute), of 2000 candela (±25 %) intensity in accordance with ICAO Annex 14 table 6-3.
    Intermediate lights shall be placed at a position midway between the top of the structure and the ground and shall consist of at least three steady burning red aeronautical obstruction lights of at least 32 candela each, on the same vertical plane and spaced not more than 120 degree horizontally. At least two lights shall be visible through any azimuth of 360 degree and no light shall be spaced more than 30m apart, on the horizontal plane of any structure. Multiple lights may be required to satisfy this requirement. The vertical spacing of lights shall be as far as practical be evenly spaced and shall not exceed 45m between vertical levels.


  1. Structures of 45 to 90m heights shall have dual lights on top and not less than a set of three lights at the intermediate level. An additional set of lights shall be added when the structure exceeds 90m in height and for any multiple thereafter.
  2. On structures of more than 90m,the top and every odd numbered light below may be substituted by a medium intensity Type B flashing red light (20 – 60 flashes per minute), of 2000 candela (±25 %) intensity in accordance with ICAO Annex 14 table 6-3.
  3. These flashing lights shall be synchronised.

The Commissioner may require more stringent markings in specific situations and may require that lights be powered from a no-break power source (UPS).

What about power lines?
Power lines, overhead wires and cables are considered as obstacles and the detail shall be communicated to the Commissioner at an early planning stage.

The Commissioner shall require the route of the power line, the co-ordinates (latitude and longitude in degree, minute, seconds and tenth of seconds format) of turning points in the line, the maximum height of the structures above ground level and the name of the power line. The Commissioner shall evaluate the route and require those sections of the line (if any), which is considered a danger to aviation to be marked or rerouted.

Power lines shall be marked when crossing a river, valley or major highway with marker spheres of a diameter of not less than 60 cm. The spheres shall be of one colour and displayed alternately orange/red and white or a colour that is in sharp contrast to the background as seen from an airborne perspective. The spacing between the spheres and between the spheres and the supporting towers shall not exceed 30m. On lines with multiple cables, the spheres shall be fitted to the highest cable.

The marker spheres shall be visible from at least 1000m from an airborne perspective and 300m from the ground.

Where power lines crosses a river or valley, the co-ordinates (latitude and longitude in degree, minute, seconds and tenth of seconds format) and the height of the line above the valley or river, shall be communicated to the Commissioner for publication in the appropriate media.

The Commissioner may require that supporting towers be marked and lighted.

Where cranes are erected, prior permission shall be obtained from the Commissioner. The co-ordinates (latitude and longitude in degree, minute, seconds and tenth of seconds format), the ground elevation of the site above sea level, the height of the crane, the dimensions of the jib as well as the erecting date and duration of the project must be communicated to the Commissioner for evaluation and publication in the relevant media.

The Commissioner shall specify markings, if required.

When markings are required, the crane shall be painted in a conspicuous colour which in a sharp contrast to the background from an airborne perspective. Illumination shall clearly define the shape of the crane and the extremities of the structure shall be illuminated by medium intensity Type B flashing red light (20 – 60 flashes per minute), of 2000 candela (±25 %) intensity in accordance with ICAO Annex 14 table 6-3.

Variations on Markings
Written, motivated request for the variation of any of the requirements for the marking of structures may be addressed to the Commissioner.

Where do I find the specifications on markings?
Specification on the lighting and painting of structures can be found in ICAO Annex 14 chapter 6 and the specifics in Annex 14 APPENDIX 1. COLOURS FOR AERONAUTICAL GROUND LIGHTS, MARKINGS, SIGNS AND PANELS

Is there a cost involved?
An assessment fee is applicable per application and is a “once off” providing none of the specified dimensions changed. When the height or the position of an “obstacle” has changed, it is considered as a new application. The fee is published in part 187.00.21 (Fees relating to Part 139) and is available on the CAA website under “Fees“.

How Long does it Take?
Unless further investigation is required, one could expect an answer within 3 months after submission and payment of a request.

Wind Farm Obstacle Lighting

Guidance regarding obstacle lighting on Wind Turbine Generators under construction
The turbine structure under construction is considered to be a temporary structure due to the building activity i.e. cranes etc. around it. As such an interim lighting system is required to be implemented. Temporary obstruction lighting in the form of a Type B (low intensity) 32 candela red flashing light system, situated at the highest point of the structure in progress would suffice for the construction period. This lighting system is to be provided to each turbine structure. It is recognised the interim lighting system will be flashing randomly, hence the requirement for each turbine structure to be identified.

The temporary obstruction lighting must be brought into play at 25m and continue to be displayed at the highest point, until such time as the required permanent obstruction lighting system is on line. It is understood that the wind farm site will not be connected to the national grid, until such time as it becomes operational, hence the concession of the interim lighting systems. There are solar powered systems available off the shelf, which would be adequate for the purpose.

Developers of Wind Farm Sites are reminded to advise the SACAA timeously (at least 6 weeks in advance), of construction commencing, in order for that information to be circulated into the aviation environment.


As Built Submission Spreadsheet V1.0Spreadsheet for the bulk submission of obstacle applications. To download, right click and select “save target as”. Please note that you are required to fill out form CA 139-27 for less than five applications.Download 32 kb
CA139-27Application for approval of obstaclesDownload 760 kb
Bulk Submission Of Obstacle ApplicationsSpreadsheet for the bulk submission of obstacle applications. To download, right click and select “save target as”. Please note that you are required to fill out form CA 139-27 for less than five applications.Download 32 kb

Note: CA 139-27 is a fillable form!  Please download it to your computer by right clicking on the link and selecting “save link as”.  Kindly use the Adobe Reader programme to open it from your computer.  The latest Adobe Reader may be downloaded by going to https://get.adobe.com/reader/

South African Obstacle File