AASA is mandated to represent its Members on all issues related to the development of policy and regulations impacting airline business and operations.
AASA is recognised by government, public and private stakeholders as the representative airline association in the states of its Member Airlines. In respect of proposed new policy, legislation and regulations, AASA plays the leading role in coordinating the consultation and provision of feedback, comment and response on these proposals.
AASA is represented on statutory forums and Committees where these are constituted to facilitate the consultation process.
Department of Transport South Africa
AASA is always consulted by the South African Department of Transport (DOT) on matters of policy formulation relating to Aviation and there is constant interaction between the AASA Executives and the DOT. This includes consultation on the following:
- The National Civil Aviation Policy;
- The Airlift Strategy;
- National Airport Development Plan;
- National Airspace Master Plan; and
- All ICAO matters including State Letters on which airline industry comment is requested.
Southern African Development Community (SADC)
AASA is a consultative member of the SADC Civil Aviation Committee and represents SADC Airline interests on matters applicable to Aviation. This includes issues such as the implementation of the Yamoussoukro Decision, SADC Aviation Safety Organisation (SASO), Safety and Security Policy for the SADC region, harmonisation of Regulations in the region and other projects of common interest to the aviation industry in SADC.
BBBEE Act of South Africa: revised codes of good practice
As part of the SA Government’s requirement for Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) and the aviation commitment to transformation of the airline industry, AASA and its member airlines are part of the consultation process with the Department of Transport with the development of the Aviation Charter and the Scorecard in alignment with the Codes of Good Practice.
Cape Town Convention
The Convention on International Interests in Mobile Equipment (the CIIME – otherwise know as the Cape Town Convention) was concluded in 2001 by ICAO Member States. Its principle purpose was to harmonise national laws with the principles underlying asset-based financing for mobile equipment and to provide a framework for international interests in categories of mobile equipment, notably airframes, aircraft engines and helicopters as it relates to the aviation industry. This framework would create transparency, predictability, reduction of transaction costs and mitigation of the risk in international air finance.
South Africa ratified the Convention in 2007 when it became incorporated into Domestic Law through the CIIME Act of 2007. However, South Africa has not been included on the OECD Cape Town list. Airlines which are in the process of procuring new aircraft are not able to obtain the financial benefits provided for in terms of the Convention. AASA obtained a detailed legal opinion which identified a number of impediments for the inclusion of South Africa on the Cape Town list. These include:
- Uncertainty and lack of consensus on whether the South African declarations have incorporated into and are binding in respect of South African Domestic Law;
- The potential unconstitutionality of the so-called “self help” provisions in the Convention;
- Conflict between aspects of the Convention and certain business rescue/insolvency provisions of the Companies Act and certain provisions of the CIIME Act; and
- There are no regulations to underpin the Convention.
AASA is working with the Department of Transport, the lead Government Department on this matter, the SA Civil Aviation Authority, the Departments of Trade and Industry, Public Enterprises, International Cooperation and Development, Justice, Chief State Law Advisor, and Public Enterprises on the recommendations emanating from the legal opinion to address measures and probable legislative amendments required to ultimately achieve the inclusion of South Africa on the Cape Town list. The legal opinion was made available to all AASA Airline Members to enable measures to be taken in their respective States to be included on the Cape Town list should this not currently be the case.
Following the promulgation of the Consumer Protection Act 68 of 2008 in South Africa, AASA and BARSA collectively representing all the airlines with operations to, from and within South Africa, have worked with the National Consumer Commission (NCC) in addressing aviation consumer related issues.
An Industry Code has been drafted and is under discussion. However, at this stage, the airlines are dealing with consumer complaints and claims in terms of the Act and their respective company policies. Where issues cannot be resolved, the NCC forwards these cases to AASA an BARSA as appropriate for escalation within the Airline Management system for resolution.
AASA is the representative organisation of its Member Airlines together with IATA and BARSA on matters related to the Economic Regulation of Infrastructure Service Providers and Agencies who operate within a regulated tariff regime. These organisations include the Airports Company South Africa, Air Traffic and Navigation Services, the SA Civil Aviation Authority and SA Weather Service.
AASA's functions involve in depth consultations with these organisations including provision of airline requirements to assist in preparation of these plans, the assessment of their Business Plans and the impact such plans will have on the regulated tariffs and reaching agreement or consensus as appropriate on the final position for submission to the respective Regulators.
Civil Aviation Regulation Committee (CARCOM)
AASA as an essential and important stakeholder attends and participates in the monthly meetings as the Airline Industry voice ensuring its membership interests are taken care of in the development and amendment of civil aviation regulations.
National Airspace Committee (NASCOM)
AASA attends and participates in the quarterly meetings pertaining to Airspace matters (including the design of and amendment of airspace) taking note of our mandate from our membership.