The first two of the eight critical elements of a State’s safety oversight system are:
CE-1. Primary aviation legislation. The provision of a comprehensive and effective aviation law consistent with the environment and complexity of the State’s aviation activity and compliant with the requirements contained in the Convention on International Civil Aviation. (ICAO Doc 9734)
The legal advisor within Namibia Directorate of Civil Aviation is Ms. Hilma Hitula.
The Chicago Convention requires that “each contracting State undertakes to keep its own regulations in these respects uniform, to the greatest possible extent, with those established from time to time under this Convention”. In Namibia the Air Law is an old copy of the South African Air Law from 1962.
The ICAO legal advisor is Peter O’Brien. Peter is originally from New Zealand but was once trained in England and has an impressive international career. One of the sub-projects within the ICAO-Namibia project is to produce a new, modern and fully ICAO-compliant Air Law for Namibia. Peter has done that and we are awaiting its approval.
CE-2. Specific operating regulations. The provision of adequate regulations to address, at a minimum, national requirements emanating from the primary aviation legislation and providing for standardized operational procedures, equipment and infrastructures (including safety management and training systems), in conformance with the Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) contained in the Annexes to the Convention on International Civil Aviation.
Note. – The term “regulations” is used in a generic sense to include but is not limited to instructions, rules, edicts, directives, sets of laws, requirements, policies, and orders. (ICAO Doc 9734)
The State laws and regulations should be in conformity with the Annexes to the Convention. The Annex provisions are designed to provide the minimum requirements to be met by all Contracting States, regardless of the size and complexity of their civil aviation activity.
In Namibia there are Civil Aviation Regulations (CAR) set up in different parts to cover different aspects of aviation in Namibia. There are also Civil Aviation Technical Standards (CATS) that are more detailed than the CAR’s. It is expected from the ICAO Experts in the ICAO-Namibia project to review and suggest updates for the parts affecting their field of expertise. With the help of Peter these revisions will then be handled by a Regulation Review Committee.
The regulations are of course a very important base for a safe and effective aviation sector for any state. Without these you can hardly make progress within the other critical elements of a State’s safety oversight system.