CASSOA consists of 15 staff members as compared to the planned 20 staff members. CASSOA has an expanded Board of 10 members comprising the 5 Heads of Civil Aviation Authorities and five experts in aviation matters nominated, one each, from the Partner States as per the Protocol on the Establishment of CASSOA.
CASSOA is currently designed in the basic structure of a RSOO to work with Partner States’ Civil Aviation Authorities, (which currently retain the responsibility for regulating civil aviation activities in their territories covering licensing, approving, certificating) to ensure Partner States’ compliance with the ICAO Annexes to the Chicago Convention.
CASSOA is expected to evolve into a more complex structure in future with the Partner States’ Civil Aviation Authorities delegating part of their functions and responsibilities related to safety and security oversight (licensing, approval and certification of personnel, organisations and aeronautical products), based on common regional regulations and procedures as stated in the ICAO Doc 9734 Part B paragraph 22.214.171.124.
The rate of evolution will depend on the success or failure of the Partner States to comply with the defined objectives of CASSOA and on their interest in meeting the demand for an effective decision-making process required for the establishment and management of an effective and robust regional safety oversight system.
In its eight years of operation, CASSOA has been able to make eight commendable achievements despite constraints in both human and financial resources at its disposal, namely:
- Coordination of the promulgation of the harmonized Civil Aviation Safety and Security Regulations in the Partner States;
- Development of the Technical Guidance Materials for assisting both the regulators and service providers to abide by the Regulations;
- Assisting Partner States in preparing for ICAO Safety and Security audits and thereafter developing harmonized Corrective Action Plans to address the findings;
- Capacity building for the Partner States’ safety and security inspectors;
- Establishment of the regional Centre for Aviation Medicine, the first of its kind in the World;
- Establishment of a harmonized computerized EAC Aviation Examination System for purposes of personnel licensing;
- Development of a harmonized EAC Inspector Training System for Airworthiness and Flight Operations Inspectors (currently the one for Air Navigation Services (ANS) Inspectors is under development); and
- The development of a Safety Oversight Facilitated and Integrated Application software – SOFIA, that assists Inspectors to carry out their safety oversight obligations effectively.
Some of the key ongoing programmes are:
- Assistance to EAC Partner States in capacity building in the area of flight operations courtesy of ICAO through their SAFE fund over a period of two years;
- Development of an Inspector Training System for ANS;
- Development of a harmonized EAC aviation examination syllabus;
- Development of a computer based training programme for aviation security; and
- Preparatory programme for a roadmap to successful ICAO aviation security audits for the Partner States of Kenya and Tanzania
Relationship with Civil Aviation Organisations
CASSOA works closely with ICAO, the African Civil Aviation Commission (AFCAC), the European Union’s European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), and the United States of America Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to build aviation safety oversight capacity within the East African region and beyond.
CASSOA is a member of the ICAO Africa Indian Ocean area Security and Facilitation Plan Steering Committee (AFI SECFAL SC), the first Steering Committee meeting having taken place in Maputo on 18/5/2015 upon its establishment.
CASSOA is also a member of the ICAO AFI Regional Aviation Security and Facilitation Group (RASFG-AFI), the first meeting having taken place in Dakar, Senegal from 16th to 17th September, 2015.