Private airstrip

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Jay-Jay Jordaan
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Private airstrip

Unread post by Jay-Jay Jordaan » Mon Jun 08, 2009 2:31 pm

Good Day
I would like to know what is expected from me to register my private air strip. We are only two LSA aircraft using and owning it but will expand to four in the near future. What is the diff between Licence,Registerd and verified airfields. I hear so many stories about R millions and would like to find out more. How far is CAA with regulations in this regard.
Thank you in advance
JJJ
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Re: Private airstrip

Unread post by Colin Jordaan » Mon Aug 31, 2009 9:37 am

Dear JJJ
Please see the topic on the Forum "Closing of Private Airstrips"
At this stage, registering of private airstrips is voluntary, there is no charge involved from the CAA. The current Environment Act however requires an environmental study to be carried out on all airstrips established after 1998, and this is what is causing the owners of these airstrips to have heart attacks. The CAA is not involved in this aspect.
Best regards
Colin
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Re: Private airstrip

Unread post by Mauler » Wed Sep 23, 2009 8:07 pm

Colin Jordaan wrote:The CAA is not involved in this aspect.
Dear Mr Jordaan

This is not correct. In every instance of which I am aware where application has been made for licensing an airfield in terms of part 139, CAA has required the owner to furnish a clearance from the Department of Environmental Affairs - even where the airfield has been in existence prior to 1998 with tacit written approval from CAA/DCA. This is most certainly the case with my own airfield which has been in existence since 1990 with the formal approval of the then Transvaal Provincial Administration and the Department of Agriculture.

Environmental Affairs are almost completely dysfunctional and have wasted the time and money of many airfield owners seeking licensing. The Airfield Owners Association has been attempting to engage with them for many months regarding the interpretation of their regulations, but there seems to be nobody at home and they have never even attempted to enforce their regulations.

Why is CAA adopting the enforcement functions of Environmental Affairs? CAA has no mandate, authority, skills or knowledge to do so. From our viewpoint it seems that it just gives CAA officials a lekka sense of power to frustrate the objectives and efforts of bona fide airfield owners.

You also mention that "registration" of airfields is voluntary. We are all well aware that there is no current legal framework for airfield "registration" and that you and CAA have steadfastly refused to disclose what your reasons are for such "registration" - notwithstanding the fact that our national Constitution gives us a right to such reasons in writing.

We would therefore be very interested in hearing more about what voluntary "registration" of an airfield entails and how and why it differs from licensing contemplated by part 139.

We are very concerned in this regard since we have received reports from some of our members that where they have expressed safety concerns regarding unlit and unmapped towers and masts in the vicinity of unlicensed airfields, they have been informed by CAA officials Les Wood, Lizelle Stroh and Koos van der Merwe that CAA is unlikely to do anything about it unless the airfield is "registered" in terms of a hitherto unknown "registration" process. It is amusing that in one instance where an airfield owner requested "registration" documents, Les Wood sent him licensing application forms!

Does this mean that CAA is quite happy to permit unsafe conditions to continue in order to force airfield owners to submit to the ridiculously onerous proposed amendments such as the proposed subpart 5? Does CAA wish to compromise safety while trying to enforce hopelessly unworkable and ill-considered environmental regulations?

I should warn that this would be an extremely dangerous course to follow. Should there be an accident resulting in damages or loss of life as a consequence of this apparent policy, you and CAA are almost certainly likely to be held liable.

It would be far more sensible to adopt a cooperative rather than prescriptive approach to these matters.

Chris Martinus
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Re: Private airstrip

Unread post by Colin Jordaan » Mon Nov 30, 2009 11:46 am

Dear JJJ
The current regulations require a prospective license holder to submit an EIA irrespective of when it was built. We do not enforce any aspect of the EIA except for the fact that we collect a copy of the report as per the regulations. We intend to propose an amendment to these regulations very shortly because, as you correctly point out, it is not the CAA’s work to do DEA’s work for them. They have to sort out their own enforcement and issue fines to those that violate their Regulations as they are empowered to do.

With registration (as opposed to licencing) being a voluntary action by the aerodrome owner there is absolutely no reason why the CAA has to furnish reasons why it allows the process to happen. The current registration process has no standards attached to it. Our original motivation (that information means increased safety) still stands but, due to the paranoia and accusations of CAA conspiring with “dark forces”, we have dropped the idea of compulsory registration for now. From the perspective of our legal mandate we have not dropped the idea of compulsory registration for commercially active aerodromes (WITH certain minimum standards) in certain categories of activity and work on this continues.

As a point of interest it has to be pointed out that your main concern around the matter should be the fact that from a proposed Government policy (currently being finalised) compulsory registration for ALL is been strongly advocated and you may well see a statutory requirement emerging in the medium term. If that happens, CAA will obviously have to enforce the requirement.

With respect to obstacles pertaining to aerodromes, the regulation refers to “obstacles around aerodromes” (and does not specify licensed, unlicensed, etc) Any reported obstacle gets investigated but if we don’t know about an aerodrome we obviously cannot be acting in its interest. I think you might have misunderstood Koos, Louis and Lizell on this exact point. (Hence the original motivation for registration – to have KNOWN aerodromes)

The duty of a pilot in command is to not willingly enter an unsafe situation – if he/she knows and sees power lines constructed across the threshold of an unlicensed aerodrome (etc.) then the legal obligation is to NOT land at that location.

The current regulation requires all obstacles to first be approved by CAA irrespective of their location and all exceeding 45m in height to be marked and lit.

Your reference to adopting a cooperative approach is an interesting one and certainly welcomed in view of your past confrontational approach towards CAA.
Best regards
Colin

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