SA’s National Airspace Master Plan comes into effect


The South African Department of Transport says its National Airspace Master Plan (NAMP) for 2011 to 2015 has come into effect. The purpose of the NAMP is to facilitate airspace organisation and management in South Africa.

The plan, in effect from January 1, aims to introduce International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Standards and Recommended Practices (SARP) to South Africa. These cover all technical and operational aspects of international civil aviation, such as safety, personnel licensing, operation of aircraft, airports, air traffic services, accident investigation and the environment, a Department of Transport statement adds.

The NAMP builds on steps announced by Minister of Transport S’bu Ndebele in December to tighten air safety, including establishing an independent Aviation Safety Investigation Board. In a related development, in November, the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) introduced a new Centralised Safety Reporting System that is aimed at improving aviation safety by reducing aircraft accidents. That step came just weeks after aviation experts gathered at a seminar convened by the SACAA to discuss safety concerns and whether the relatively new concept of a “Safety Management System” was a solution for safer South African skies.

Ndebele also noted there have been 124 aviation-related accidents for the 2010 calendar year to November 3. Twenty-four deaths were recorded in 15 fatal accidents. This compared to 126 and 16 respectively for 2009 (with 28 deaths), 190 for 2008 (33 fatal, 94 deaths) and 184 (27 fatal, 38 deaths) for 2007.

The International Civil Aviation Organisation is a specialised agency of the United Nations and codifies the principles and techniques of international air navigation and transport to ensure safe and orderly growth, according to the ICAO mission statement. The ICAO has 190 member nations around the world.

South Africa has been a member of the ICAO since 1947 and since the end of apartheid in 1994 has once again fully participated in the Organisation following a decision to remove all apartheid-era restrictions on South Africa, according to the Department of international Relations and Cooperation. In 2003 South Africa was elected to the ICAO Council.

The NAMP will also guide the National Airspace Committee regarding amendments related to airspace procedures and infrastructure. The NAMP may also benefit government’s aerospace ambitions as encapsulated in the Department of Trade and Industry’s (DTI) three year Industrial Policy Action Plan (IPAP) announced last February.

The complete NAMP report can be found here: