Flight Operations is an important department in the Aviation Safety Operations division of SACAA. The department is segmented into the appropriate aircraft categories and operational parts as determined in the regulations. Each section has a group of specialists who perform a number of duties and functions on behalf of Flight Operations.
Safety is the most important aspect of any operation. Within Flight Operations, each member of the team plays a vital role in enforcing regulations and conducting safety oversight within the industry. Most aspects of Flight Operations are listed under functions.
Audits are conducted by trained Mechanic, Avionics and Flight Operations Inspectors who then carry out inspections on valid operators who hold an AOC (Aircraft Operation Certificate) to conduct business. The audits may be carried out by individual inspectors, or as a team, depending on the size and complexity of the operation. During these audits, the whole operation is inspected to ensure safety and compliance with the regulations. These audits may be done annually with regular ad-hoc inspections being conducted from time to time to maintain uniformity.
The members of flight operations conduct inspections at various airports or facilities to ensure safety and compliance. These inspections may be done on the ramp, or by surveillance. Ramp inspections are the visible policing efforts of the department to create the awareness in the industry that the Authority is able to reach all corners of the country to enforce the regulations, and to prevent accidents before they happen.
Surveillance is normally done on an operator or individual who may be conducting an operation illegally, or without the permission of the SACAA. These inspections can take place by day or night, often at remote locations.
The Flight Operations personnel are trained in the approval of manuals on operations, and assist operators intending to operate an air service. These manuals need to be read carefully to ensure compliance with all laws and regulations. Once the content and presentation of the manual has been approved by the inspector, this manual serves as a guideline for safe and effective functioning by the operator. In addition to flight manuals, the department reviews manuals for Special Operations e.g. Reduced Vertical Separation Minima, manuals on maintenance control and other operator-specific manuals, such as crop sprayers.
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