KAMPALA, Uganda (eTN) – The recently-started the Civil Aviation Safety and Security Oversight Agency (CASSOA) has announced last week that all airlines registered in the East African Community (EAC) core member states of Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda will require re-certification in due course according to new common aviation regulatory standards.
Rwanda and Burundi will have some more time until their aviation laws and regulations have been harmonized with the rest of the EAC states. The process has reportedly already started in Kenya and will move on to Tanzania and then conclude in Uganda. No information was available, however, as to who was bearing the cost of the exercise, but probability is high that it is going to be the air operators, going by past experience.
The exercise will involve five phases, starting with briefings for and pre-applications by the airlines, followed by formal applications to be lodged with the new agency with full details and supporting documentation. Further stages will involve the assessment of the application documents by CASSOA staff, the physical inspection and assessment of facilities, systems and equipment and finally the approval and re-certification of the applicant airline or the denial of an approval and grounding of the carrier in question.
There has been some level of anxiety under pointed reference of regulatory arrogance shown in recent weeks over the implementation of the new air service regulations in particular in Kenya, where emotions between air operators and the regulators were running hot and high. Doubts have also been expressed over the available number of competent staff at CASSOA to rapidly conclude the exercise, taking into consideration the general shortage of trained aviation staff especially in the technical field.