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Flight Simulator Training Device Start-up information

Welcome to Personnel Licensing: Training, for FSTD.  For any additional queries, pleas contact

The SACAA welcomes professional aviation competition which is encouraged to improve productivity towards flight safety in South Africa.  Contained herein is some information with regards to a new FSTD application and the process involved.

The 21st amendment to the Civil Aviation Regulations as contained in the Government Gazette No 11359 Vol 677 of 15 November 2021 No 45491contains a complete replacement of the Part 60 regulations and the amendment of SA CATS 2/2021 dated 5 Nov 2021 completely replaces SA-CATS 60.

This document is aimed at Start-up of an FSTD operation, all descriptions made refer to the Initial Qualification of an FSTD.



​Can an FSTD be Certified in South Africa?​No, worldwide the term "Qualification" is used instead of "Certification" of an FSTD.
​Who may apply for FSTD Qualification? ​Only an ATO may apply for the Qualification of an FSTD, it is not possible to apply for FSTD Qualification if not through an ATO, regardless of whether one is the owner of the device or not.
​What happens when the ATO Certificate or Operations Specification expires, but the FSTD Qualification Certificate is current? ​The Qualification Certificates are only valid if the ATO Certificate and Ops Spec are valid.
​When may an ATO apply for FSTD Qualification? ​An ATO may apply once the proposed device has been installed, is functioning to design specification and has been evaluated by an ATO designated team of experts to comply with all requirements as prescribed in SACAA-FSTD A (For Aeroplanes) or SACAA-FSTD H (For Helicopters),
​Will an FSTD automatically receive qualification based on manufacturer recommendation, previous qualification held, or Foreign Authority approval held? ​No, SACAA does an independent evaluation of the FSTD. If the manufacturer has built the device to a specific level of functioning, SACAA will confirm that the device does indeed meet the criteria as detailed in SACAA-FSTD A or SACAA-FSTD H as applicable.
​How can I assure that, prior to purchasing an FSTD, the device will be guaranteed to receive SACAA Qualification? ​There are simply no guarantees, other than using SACAA-FSTD A or SACAA-FSTD H as applicable and confirming that each criterion for the qualification level sought has been met.
​Where do I start? ​Make email contact with the SACAA Part 60 Department via an email introduction (in the format used for ATO contact, see communication protocol later in this document) by emailing An inspector will contact you and assist where possible to reach the formal application stage.
​Can SACAA do a pre-purchase evaluation of an FSTD for me? ​No, SACAA does not evaluate devices in any other way than described below.




After receiving compliant written application, SACAA will follow a 3-part approach in order to evaluate a device. A device cannot receive qualification if all 3 parts are not compliant. Here follows the parts:

  1. Objective Evaluation: During the objective evaluation, the FSTD Qualification Test Guides are interrogated to prove compliance with SACAA-FSTD A criteria or SACAA-FSTD H as applicable. This part of the evaluation compares the expected objective performance of the device as tabled by the manufacturer, to the actual performance achieved during objective testing; referred to as running of the QTG. Inspectors will oversee a portion of the QTG being run and may ask for the running of additional QTG to substantiate observations raised whilst scrutinising the previously run results. Evaluation of the QTG also entails comparing the results against maximum deviation tolerances, which are prescribed in SACAA-FSTD A or SACAA-FSTD H as applicable.  
  2. Subjective Evaluation: During the subjective evaluation, the performance of the device is measured during a fly-out. SACAA may conduct the fly-out or require rated crew to be arranged by the ATO; this depends on the complexity and the type of device under scrutiny.  Depending on the qualification level sought, this is where checklists and crew flows are conducted to test conformance. The handling characteristics and aerodynamic behaviour of the device is under scrutiny, be that to be class representative or up to type specific requirements, again dependant on level of qualification sought. During the subjective evaluation the "Training Credits" appropriate for the device will be determined and verified. All subjective criteria are contained in SACAA-FSTD A or SACAA-FSTD H as applicable. 
  3. FSTD Quality System: During assessment of the FSTD Quality System focus is placed on the organisations approach to and evaluation of maintaining an acceptable level of performance of the FSTD. Aspects like FSTD documentation, maintenance outcomes, general device condition and the state of the surrounding area are some of the matters evaluated. The ATO is expected to conduct their own oversight of the device, this is normally contained within the FSTD Quality System. There is a requirement to conduct specific quarterly FSTD oversight tasks by the Operator, this is assessed, and feedback is provided to Management of the ATO. Requirements for the FSTD Quality System can be found in SACAA-FSTD A or SACAA-FSTD H as applicable.  
  4. Application: Use the official application form from our website as well as to draft the letter of application as found in SACAA-FSTD A or SACAA-FSTD H as applicable. A compliant letter of application needs to be lodged with SACAA at least 3 months prior to the expected evaluation date.



Again, bear in mind that the compliant application must be received at least 3 months prior to the commencement of the FSTD evaluation.

Experience has shown that the SACAA 3 Part process generally takes between 3 and 5 days to complete (per operating model or variant of the device). Expected evaluation time is greatly dependant on the complexity of the device.

On completion of a successful evaluation expect to receive the Qualification Certificates after approximately 4 weeks.



Until the introduction of a Part 60 Fee structure under Part 187, all invoicing happens on completion of the evaluation, based on hours spent on task. Also, until the introduction of a specific Fee structure, invoicing occurs in accordance with SACAR Part 187.01.45 (a) which stipulates an hourly rate for services rendered for which no specific fee has been set out in Part 187.



The regulations governing FSTD Operators are contained in the The South African Civil Aviation Regulations, 2011 (As amended) SACAR Part 60, the South African Civil Aviation Technical Standards SA-CATS 60 and the FSTD Technical Qualification documents SACAA-FSTD A and SACAA-FSTD H. . These can be found on the home page of the SACAA website.

* Take note that new regulations and technical standards are due to be promulgated soon These new regulations and technical standards will completely replace current SACAR Part 60 of the regulations and introduce SA-CATS 60. This information page will be updated when the new regulations are promulgated.  



Please take note of the communication protocol for PEL FSTD published on our website for several years now and repeated below.

All FSTD correspondence is to be addressed to and no manager, administrator or inspector is to be emailed please.

  • Please take note of how the subject line of email correspondence should be addressed - Subject – "Insert name of your ATO and Trading as name" - SACAA "Insert approval number" CAA – "Insert nature of the request being made or the matter being addressed"


This is a centralised mailbox and correspondence needs to be easily identifiable in order to provide a more efficient service. There are over 40 ATOs making use of this inbox for over 140 FSTD and we need to identify what we are dealing with without first having to open the email or attached documents.

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