South Africa
2.2 South Africa Aviation

Key airport information may also be found at:

The Republic of South Africa is a signatory to the Convention on International Civil Aviation of 1944 (Chicago Convention), which led to the establishment of a United Nations specialized body, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). The ICAO is responsible for standardizing and administering the safety and security of civil aviation operations across the world. The SACAA is a juristic person established in terms of the Civil Aviation Authority Act, 2009 (Act No 13 of 2009). The SACAA’s mandate is to administer civil aviation safety and security oversight in the Republic of South Africa, in line with the Civil Aviation Authority Act (the Act), and in accordance with the standards and recommended practices (SARPs) prescribed by the ICAO.

The impact of the Aviation industry in South Africa's economy cannot be over-emphasized. South Africa has been able to implement international and our National Aviation Safety Plans, with our airports achieving impressive compliant safety records.

The Air Traffic and Navigation Services (ATNS) have made major strides to improve our airspace management safely scenarios. Infrastructure investments to assist the programme include the continued renewal of terrestrial aeronautical navigation systems and continued maintenance of radar systems.

Aviation Public Entities include:

Public Aviation Entities Website
Air Traffic and Navigation Services (ATNS)
Airport Company South Africa (ACSA)   

South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA)

For more information on government agency and airport company contact information, please see the following links: 4.1 Government Contact List and 4.5 Airport Companies Contact List.

Procedures for Foreign Registered Aircraft

Type Acceptance Certificate (TAC) applied for with the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) means an approval issued in terms of regulation South African Civil Aviation Regulations (SACAR) 21.04.5, which signifies SACAA acceptance of the foreign Type Certificate (TC) of a product (aircraft, engine, or propeller), for which the holder is the foreign Type Certificate (TC) holder. The TAC defines the product design approval (TC) accepted, states who is the holder of the TAC, and lists any additional limitations or conditions applied for SACAA acceptance of the product. It also identifies the category of the product (standard or restricted for special purpose operations).

In order to place an aircraft on the SA Civil Aircraft Register, the aircraft must have been issued a TAC by the Director, as per SACAR 47.00.5 (2) (a) (iv).

In order to issue a Certificate of Airworthiness for an imported aircraft, the aircraft must have been issued with a TAC by the Director, as per SACAR 21.08.4 (1) (b) (i), and the aircraft must conform to that TAC, as per SACAR 21.08.4 (2) (a).

These have been requirements since the promulgation of the South African Civil Aviation Regulations of 1997.

The Technical Guidance Material describes how the SACAA Certification Engineering section processes an application for the issuing of a TAC.

Refer to SA-CATS 129 (

Issuance of Flight Authorisation

Only applications, submitted in the form and manner prescribed in this TS, will be considered for the issuing of a flight authorisation.

  1. The purpose for issuing flight authorisations is to control all movement of certain foreign registered aircraft in South African airspace and at South African airports. It is important to note that regulation 129.01.1 applies only to “foreign state aircraft or an aircraft operated by a foreign operator in an air transport operation”. It does not apply to private or corporate flights that are operating in accordance with an ATC flight plan and enter the RSA through and under the control of customs and immigration. All foreign state and foreign air operators, operating on an itinerate basis, are thereby tracked and accounted for. The main purposes for this type of itinerate activity is to perform on-demand charters, technical landings for normal or abnormal servicing, or to transit South African airspace enroute to other destinations. The primary users of this service are foreign charter companies or aircraft operated by a Foreign State, including military aircraft. Whatever the reason for travel, it is for safety and security reasons that the SACAA has a need to exercise oversight over such activity.
  2. A person, who is the holder of a SA-FAOC, does not require a flight authorisation, provided such flights are conducted in accordance with the provisions of their SA-FAOC.
  3. The application for a flight authorisation is less formal than for an actual operating certificate, and the fee required for this service is established by regulation.
  4. The following information shall be provided in an application for flight authorisation to conduct an over-flight of South Africa, or to operate in South Africa, or perform a technical stop in South Africa. Aircraft on over-flights, private aircraft carrying 10 passengers or less, and military aircraft only need to provide the information requested in paragraphs (a), (b), (c) (d), (f) and (j), as applicable to the flight crew, and in the case of a Foreign State aircraft, paragraph (j). In all cases paragraph (k) may apply at the discretion of the Director.
    1. Name of operator or person responsible for flight: The name of the operator must be the name of the person or organisation appearing on the certificate of registration or equivalent documentation The person or organisation responsible for the flight must take responsibility for being the SACAA point of contact on behalf of the operator.

    2. Type of aircraft, registration marks and C of A expiry date, if applicable: The aircraft designation and full registration must be as indicated on the C of R. A copy of the C of R is also considered a good supporting document. The application should also be supported by a copy of a valid C of A, or a certification from the licensed AME attesting to the airworthiness of the aircraft flown.

    3. Date and time of arrival at, and departure from, the airport concerned: The flight itinerary should include the date and estimated time of arrival and specify the routing filed with ATC and, if applicable, on the operational flight plan.

    4. Place or places of embarkation or disembarkation abroad, as the case may be, of passengers or freight.
    5. Purpose of flight and number of passengers and the nature and amount of freight: Where possible, a passenger manifest should accompany the application or, if deemed necessary, be delivered prior to departure of the flight.

    6. Notification of dangerous goods and/or agricultural products.
    7. Name, address, telephone and telefax number and business of charterer, if any.
    8. Name, address of the flight crew, including:

      1. license numbers;

      2. medical expiry dates;

      3. expiry date of IFR and/or proficiency ratings, on the aircraft type to be operated.

    9. A certification that each pilot and cabin safety attendant meets the ICAO language requirements.
    10. If applicable, in the case of foreign state aircraft, a copy of the equivalent operations specification(s) issued by the regulating authority; and
    11. any other document the Director deems necessary to ensure that the intended operation will be conducted safely
  5. The flight authorisation will be issued on an official document, normally in the form of an electronic transmission or telex containing:
    1. name and address of the operator;

    2. type of aircraft and registration marks;

    3. airport/s in South Africa to be visited as indicated on the application;

    4. conditions with respect to required clearances to proceed to other airports subsequent to the initial arrival;

    5. any other privilege granted, condition or restriction imposed; and

    6. where the Director has decided not to allow the application, the reason for declining a flight authorisation will be stated.

For more information on procedures for foreign registered aircraft, please see the following attachments: List of SACAA TAC - Aircraft.

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