NEWS AND EVENTS

CASSOA to participatein the EU EDF 11 Counter Terrorisism Project

CASSOA TO PARTICIPATE IN THE EU EDF 11 COUNTER TERRORISM PROJECT

Everyone is now in agreement that terrorism in today’s world poses a serious threat that grows by the day. It is to that effect that one of the EAC development partners, the European Union through its European Development Fund 11th Project (EDF11) gave a grant to the EAC to combat cross-border terrorism, transnational organised crime and human trafficking across its borders.

Aviation being one of the conduits of the perpetuators of the above crimes, CASSOA therefore has a role to play. On 14th October, 2016 the Agency was represented by the Executive Director at a consultative meeting in Arusha, Tanzania with consultants and representatives of the EU to pave way for identification of possible areas of intervention.

The fruitful meeting which was attended by specialists in security matters will see CASSOA reaping benefits of capacity building for the region in order to enhance security oversight aimed at curbing and combating the above mentioned evils.

EAC CASSOA

October, 2016

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FAA holds Workshop for Certification of Aerodromes in ESAF and WACAF Regions

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) of the United States of America continues to provide technical assistance to the African States through its project, Safe Skies for Africa (SSFA). One of the challenges faced in aviation today in Africa is that of certifying international aerodromes. As long as an aerodrome does international traffic, under ICAO it is deemed an international aerodrome and therefore, must meet international standards as specified in Annex 14 to the Chicago Convention.

ICAO to this effect has so far launched two projects in Africa, one in the WACAF region and the other in ESAF region. The aim is to have all African States achieve a 60% Effective Implementation (EI) by the end of 2017 after having certificated at least 45% of all African international airports by the end of 2016.

The FAA supports this initiative by ICAO and for this purpose honoured the request by the SADC Aviation Safety Oversight Organisation (SASO) to hold a workshop on Certification of Aerodromes for African States from 19th – 23rd September 2016 in Ezulwini, Royal Kingdom of Swaziland. The workshop which was opened by the Director General of the Swaziland CAA, Mr. Solomon Dube, was attended by participants from Swaziland CAA inspectorate (SWACAA), SASO, the East African Community CASSOA, Angola, Botswana, Cameroun, Cape Verde, Kenya, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa, Togo, and Uganda.

The FAA team, left to right: Mr. Grady Stone (FAA Africa Representative), Mr. C. Mark, and Mr. Kelly Slusarski

The FAA team, left to right: Mr. Grady Stone (FAA Africa Representative), Mr. C. Mark, and Mr. Kelly Slusarski

The workshop also provided comparisons on the minor differences between the FAA standards and those provided for in our region in certification of aerodromes. This is healthy for consideration of alternative ways of correction action plans where no technical guidance material has so far been developed. Participants were encouraged to focus on the bigger picture rather than the minor differences. Experience shows that a Best Practice is derived at after hearing/learning the same principles from different perspectives of compliance of SARPs.

Participants during workshop theory session

Participants during workshop theory session

As a guide to the easy process of certificating an aerodrome, aerodrome designers should be able to determine for which type of aircraft the subject aerodrome is designed. Participants also got to learn the difference between certification and licensing, where;

  • Certification is for aerodromes designated for international traffic
  • Licensing is meant for domestic traffic

The participants upon their successful completion of the workshop, came up with the following resolutions:

  1. States should ensure that their Civil Aviation Acts clearly provide for the responsibilities of their safety oversight inspectors
  2. For the States with the CAA acting the role of both the regulator and operator/service provider, the organisational structure of the CAA should be such that there is a clear separation of the regulatory arm and service provision arm functions
  3. States should ensure that their civil aviation regulations provide clauses on exemptions commensurate with the industry and environment while at the same time not compromising on safety of the industry
  4. Develop all the necessary technical guidance materials for both the regulator and service provider
  5. There is need to establish the minimum qualifications and experience for the inspectorate staff
  6. Establish a robust policy on record keeping and archiving
  7. States should undertake to make use of the ICAO software on Compliance Checklists and Electronic Filing of Differences (CC/EFOD)
  8. States should ensure availability of sufficient financial and human resources in order to effectively discharge safety oversight functions and obligations
  9. States should endeavour to adopt the industry Best Practices
Participants during the workshop practical session at King Mswati III International Airport, Sikuphe

Participants during the workshop practical session at King Mswati III International Airport, Sikuphe

EAC CASSOA

September, 2016

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The Giant Awakes

The year 2016 is seeing the EAC giant awakening to the call of improving the facilitation of air travelers within and outside the region. It is great news for the travelling public to learn that the EAC States are in high gear of revamping their airlines. This will not only improve on air travel to and from the region, but will also boost tourism within the EAC. In the spirit of regional co-operation the EAC Partner States are already working on the establishment of an effective tourist air circuit through the development of earmarked aerodromes and air routes for purposes of facilitating quick tourist movement to the tourist attraction sites.

The year 2016 is a bumper harvest year for the EAC aviation industry. The planting season started in mid 2015 with the delivery of new Boeing B787 Dreamliners for Kenya Airways.  Later on CASSOA embarked on the vigorous exercise of assisting Tanzania with the recertification as per the harmonised EAC civil aviation regulations, of its major operators in the region who had been earlier on certified as per the old regulations. To that effect, Precision Air was successfully recertified in November 2015.

This fall (autumn) in September 2016, CASSOA embarked on the vigorous exercise of assisting Kenya to recertify Kenya Airways together with its Maintenance Facility in Embakasi, as per the EAC harmonised civil aviation regulations.  This exercise has also been successfully accomplished.

Kenya Airways maintenance facility that has recently been recertified. Courtesy photo by Reuters

Kenya Airways maintenance facility that has recently been recertified. Courtesy photo by Reuters

The beginning of the year 2016 saw the vigorous exercise of assisting Burundi to revamp its flag carrier, Air Burundi, through the operationalisation of its sole aircraft, a Chinese made MA60 turbo prop, which had been donated to the Republic by China as a gesture of mutual co-operation. However, this meant the acceptance of the Chinese CCAR-25 under which the MA60 is Type certificated, by the EAC States. This exercise was successfully completed in August 2016, now what is left for Air Burundi is the fulfillment of operational requirements before it can be granted an AOC.

Burundi’s MA60 parked at Bujumbura International Airport

Burundi’s MA60 parked at Bujumbura International Airport

The month of September 2016 has seen the delivery of three new aircraft to the EAC States, namely; one Airbus A330-200 for Rwanda and two Bombardier Dash Q400 NG for Tanzania.

Following the delivery of these three iron birds, the eyes are all set on Uganda, which is now also under pressure to re-establish its national carrier, the onetime vibrant Uganda Airlines. Uganda has already started on the exercise of re-establishing the national carrier. Uganda has also heavily invested in the East African Civil Aviation Academy in Soroti as a means of churning out qualified cadres for the aviation industry. All this is seen by CASSOA as a positive move when the EAC leadership recognises the importance of flag carriers in the economic development of the State. It is CASSOA’s high hopes that the EAC Partner States will address amicably the question of a sustainable funding mechanism for the Agency, given the potential of a fast growing industry that requires effective safety and security oversight. Truly, the giant has woken up and one really hopes that one day, in the spirit of regionalism, the major EAc airlines shall amalgamate into an efficient once upon a time mighty East African Airways.

The commissioning ceremony of Tanzania’s new Dash Q400 planes for Air Tanzania Company Limited (ATCL) at Julius Nyerere international airport by H.E. President John Pombe Magufuli

The commissioning ceremony of Tanzania’s new Dash Q400 planes for Air Tanzania Company Limited (ATCL) at Julius Nyerere international airport by H.E. President John Pombe Magufuli

The new Airbus A330-200 for Rwandair parked at Kigali International Airport after delivery

The new Airbus A330-200 for Rwandair parked at Kigali International Airport after delivery

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A NOTE OF THANK YOU AND FAREWELL

Dear Colleagues,

A NOTE OF THANK YOU AND FAREWELL

With effect from 1st June 2017, my services to the East African Community and, the Civil Aviation Safety and Security Oversight Agency (CASSOA) came to an end following the expiry of my term as Executive Director.

I feel blessed to have been given the opportunity to serve the people of the East African Community in the Aviation Industry, particularly as one of the pioneers of EAC CASSOA immediately upon its establishment in 2007. This gave me an opportunity to work with distinguished professionals in and outside the Region, within and outside the Aviation Industry; all of whom have been instrumental in the development of my career and skills.

Allow me to appreciate, first the Board, and then your great support and the positive role that each one of you played as a team in moving CASSOA forward to a status envied by many in the industry and EAC as a whole. Your advice, suggestions and constructive criticisms were all valuable in my decision making to ably steer CASSOA where its founders wished it to be. Thank you.

As I leave the service of the Community, I pledge to be available for the industry in the Region as and when a need arises. Lastly, it is my humble request to you to extend the same, or even greater support to the officer holding the fort, Mr. Emile Nguza Arao, in order to ensure continuity in building a robust Aviation Oversight System in the Region.
Regards,

Robert Mwesigwa Nviiri
Mobile: +256 775 470616
Email: rnviiri@gmail.com

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8th CASSOA Anniversary

In the early 1990s various Reports were made on the slow and uncoordinated implementation of the International Civil Aviation Organisation’s Standards and Recommended Practices (ICAO SARPs) by a large number of Contracting States, especially in the developing World. The 32nd ICAO Council Assembly of 1995 approved the ICAO Safety Oversight Voluntary Assessment Programme to help States understand their status of compliance with ICAO SARPs in order to develop corrective actions. The East African States (Uganda as the first one) were among those that volunteered to undergo that programme.

The Conference of Directors General of Civil Aviation on a Global Strategy for Safety Oversight held 10th – 12th November 1997 in Montreal, Canada emphasized the need for coordinating and harmonizing the principles and procedures for assessing safety oversight at a global level, recognizing at the same time the advantages of adopting a regional focus. In that context, the Conference recommended that ICAO promotes the establishment of regional mechanisms with a view to achieving the long-term goals of safety oversight capability at a global level.

The East African Community (EAC) Partner States of Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda with the support of the US Department of Transportation and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) took on this initiative and embarked on the roadmap for the establishment of a Regional Safety Oversight Organization on the ICAO proposed framework stipulated in ICAO Document 9734 Part B – The Establishment and Management of a Safety Oversight System, however, with the element of security added on. The establishment of this body commenced with a benchmarking mission to Central America that had started a similar arrangement, headquartered in Costa Rica. In parallel, the East African States were engaged in an elaborate harmonisation process of their Aviation Safety and Security Regulations, in line with the ICAO recommended Practices and Standards, a further justification of the establishment of a regional body to oversee the compliance with the harmonized regulations. On 18th April 2007, following fruitful deliberations by civil aviation and legal experts of the EAC, the EAC Council of Ministers approved the establishment of the EAC Civil Aviation Safety and Security Agency (CASSOA) as an autonomous self-accounting institution of the Community and appointed its first Executive Director – Mr. Mtesigwa Maugo (Tanzania) , the Technical Coordinator – Mr. Robert Mwesigwa Nviiri (Uganda), and the Office Management Assistant – Mrs. Lillian Mwenda (Kenya), and the first Board complement comprising the then three Heads of Civil Aviation Authorities of the Partner States. CASSOA commenced operations on 1st June 2007 in Arusha, Tanzania, at the seat of the East African Community Secretariat. Today CASSOA boasts of 12 staff members and 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.
Eight years down the line, 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 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

 

As we observe the 8th Anniversary of CASSOA, I wish to thank the Partner States through the Council of Ministers, for their support and financial contributions to the development of CASSOA, the members of the Board of CASSOA right from inception to present date, for the policy guidance to the Agency, the current and previous Secretaries General of the Community for their tacit support to the CASSOA activities, and the staff of CASSOA who continue to discharge their responsibilities diligently.

I also thank our Development Partners – European Union EASA, Federal Aviation Administration of USA, ICAO, AviAssist of the Netherlands, Her Majesty’s Government of the UK thru the British High Commission in Nairobi, just to name but a few for their technical and financial contributions to the activities of CASSOA. I call upon our Development Partners to continue supporting CASSOA.

Last but not least, I thank my predecessors Executive Directors, Mr. Mtesigwa Maugo and Mr. Barry Kashambo, the commitment and professional management that they expended at CASSOA during the formative years that laid down the foundations of the Agency and overseeing the implementation of the 1st Development Strategy of the Agency among other key activities. As we celebrate the 8th Anniversary of CASSOA, we are confident that the race towards developing CASSOA into a Model Regional Aviation Safety and Security Oversight Agency respected across the globe is on and we call on the support of all our stakeholders in order to accomplish this Mission.
Happy 8th Anniversary for CASSOA.

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