The 9th Cooperative Development of Operational Safety and Continuing Airworthiness Programme in the Southern African Development Community States (COSCAP-SADC) Project Flight Safety Working Group (FSWG) Workshop was held at the Maharaja Conference Center in Gaborone, Botswana from 11-15 February 2013. The Workshop which was facilitated by the COSCAP-SADC Project included flight safety technical specialists from SADC Member States and the United States Department of Transportation, Federal Aviation Administration.
The Cooperative Development of Operational Safety and Continuing Airworthiness Programme in the Southern African Development Community States (COSCAP-SADC) is a SADC Project in which the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) is the Executing Agency. The aim of the Project is to improve Member States capability to meet their responsibilities in the area of civil aviation safety consistent with ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs). Member States’ obligations under the Convention on International Civil Aviation (Chicago Convention 1944) is to, amongst others, uphold the international flight operations and airworthiness safety standards and practices contained in the Annexes to the Convention.
The COSCAP-SADC project, has established a Flight Safety Working Group (FSWG) composed of flight operations, airworthiness technical specialists and legal experts from the CAAs of SADC Member States. The FSWG’s focus is to update and harmonize the basic civil aviation legislation and regulations used by Member States’ Civil Aviation Authorities (CAAs). In addition, the FSWG conducts detailed reviews of the technical procedures used by Member States’ CAAs for implementing regulatory safety requirements. Harmonisation of regulations and procedures are carried out pursuant to Article 9.4 of the SADC Protocol on Transport, Communications and Meteorology which states that “Member States shall encourage recognition of each other’s licences and certificates of airworthiness, provided they comply with ICAO SARPs.” All SADC Member States are signatories to the Convention on International Civil Aviation (1944) and have an obligation to keep pace with ever changing international safety standards and recommended practices generated by dynamic aviation technology and international concern for preserving the environment.
The COSCAP-SADC Project FSWG meets periodically on behalf of the CAAs of Member States to address these and other issues involving the certification and continuing oversight of air operators and organizations with the aim of improving Member States’ capability to meet their responsibilities in the field of civil aviation safety. Through the COSCAP-SADC Project, numerous training opportunities have also been made available to SADC Member States’ CAAs. This training has enabled their flight safety inspectors to uphold international flight operations and airworthiness safety standards and practices in the areas of airline operations and aircraft maintenance organization certification and surveillance, aging aircraft maintenance programmes, Inspector Training Systems, Safety Management Systems and training in the Resolution of Safety Concerns. These processes seek to develop seamless, integrated, efficient, safe, cost effective and responsive air transport system in SADC.