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What rules govern the ownership of airports (both public and private)?

The Airports Company of South Africa SOC Limited, which owns a number of airports, is predominantly state owned and governed by the Airports Company Act. No regulations have been promulgated in terms of the act. While an application for an aerodrome licence must provide details of the residence and nationality of directors and shareholders, there is no underpinning in the Civil Aviation Regulations for these details to be for any purpose other than formality and information.


What is the authorisation procedure for the operation of airports?

The South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) must conduct the requisite audits and inspections of airports. An airport must receive an aerodrome licence to operate and must comply with the Civil Aviation Regulations. Licences are renewed annually, subject to further audits and inspections.

What ongoing operating requirements apply (including obligations relating to safety, security and facilities maintenance)?

Safety management systems must be designed and executed to ensure the safety and security of airports. The provisions of the safety management system must be commensurate with the size, nature and complexity of the operations or activities authorised to be conducted and necessary for the issuance of the requisite licence and certificate. Airport safety must be monitored continuously and renewed procedures to heighten the levels of safety must be implemented. Certain safety requirements are outlined under the Civil Aviation Regulations.

Airport charges

What airport charges apply and how are they regulated?

Airport charges consist of landing, parking and passenger service charges, all of which are regulated by the Airports Company Act.

Air traffic navigation charges are regulated by the Air Traffic and Navigation Services Company Act, which defines an ’air traffic service charge’ as “an amount levied by the company on an operator of an aircraft or an airport in connection with the use of any air navigation infrastructure by, or the provision of an air traffic service to, such operator”.   


What regulations govern access to airports?

No specific provisions in the Civil Aviation Regulations pertain to access to airports. Operators generally enter into contractual agreements to gain access to airports.

Slot allocation

What regime governs the allocation of airport slots (including slot transfer, revocation and disputes)?

Airport slot allocation is governed by the Airport Slot Coordination Regulations applicable to the Civil Aviation Act.

Ground handling

How are ground handling services regulated?

Ground handling services are not regulated. A ground handling company requires a licence from Airports Company South Africa SOC Limited in order to operate at one of its airports.

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