New regulations to set aviation security standards

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Midrand - A new set of regulations in the aviation sector is to set security standards for all companies who train security personnel for the industry.

The two regulations, Part 109 and Part 110, which have been approved by Transport Minister Sibusiso Ndebele, now formed part of the South African Civil Aviation Authority's (SACAA) regulations.

This means that before April 2010, when the new regulations will come into effect, all security companies would have to be accredited by the SACAA.

Part 109 deals with the accreditation of any organisation which trains security personnel for the aviation industry, while Part 110 regulates the certification of aviation security workers.

According to the regulations, "no training organisation will be allowed to offer aviation security training in South Africa, and no aviation security screener will be allowed to perform aviation security screening duties relating to South African airports, airlines or regulated agents, unless they are approved to do so by the (SACAA)."

SACAA General Manager Poppy Khoza said previously there was a regulatory gap in the aviation security training sector.

"While training of aviation security personnel has been taking place, a wide variety of standards were being implemented.

"In addition, training organisations have not until now been approved by the SACAA which is different to all other spheres of aviation training, e.g. flights schools. This gap has now been closed," explains Khoza.

He added that as South Africa is a signatory to the International Civil Aviation Organisation's (ICAO) Convention of 1944, the country is expected to adhere to global practices as outlined in ICAO's Standards and Recommended Practices.

"The fact that there was a regulatory gap was of major concern to the Authority, and therefore we have been working with industry to develop appropriate regulations to ensure that our aviation security procedures and levels are on par with the required global standards," Khoza said.

As a means of ensuring that the industry is fully prepared for compliance to the new regulations, the SACAA is currently conducting workshops in the various regions.