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Aviation Industry
Sunday, June 1, 2008
Fat fees

The local authorities have announced that they intend to press for legislation to register the currently unlicensed airfields. Most of these are private farm strips and such like.

Presumably the main aim is to introduce fat fees for this registration – usually the main, if not only, reason for most legislation. But I wonder if the bureaucrats have worked out just how much this is going to cost? I can see lots of litigation against the South Africa Civil Aviation Authority and its affiliates on the grounds that by registering an airfield there is some presumption of inspection and passing a fitness test.
I also wonder if they intend to apply for International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Appendix 14 to these little strips? This refers to the lighting of the runways and specification thereto. Incidentally, the international airport locator code for South African airstrips starts with  FA, but one should not read anything into that.
The case of Masureik v Welkom Municipality was a close run thing – the trial judge fell for ICAO 14 and it was only because the insurer had sufficient funds to pursue an appeal on principle that the case was chucked out on appeal.
I know of one or two cross border airstrips – actually international airports – that are downright dangerous, but to expect farmer De Bruyn to operate his little grass strip accordingly is ridiculous. By Henry Tours

Copyright © Insurance Times and Investments® Vol:21.5 1st June, 2008
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