Some confusion exists in the market; what air cargo can be consigned and what cannot be consigned.
We have received the following clarification from the South African Civil Aviation Authority:
Dear Agents and Consignors,
It has come to our attention that there remains some confusion as to which cargo is permitted to operate. Please kindly be advised that the attached Directions permit the movement of air cargo. This is to clarify that air cargo in its entirety is permitted to fly both into and out of the country using the listed International Airports.
With kind regards,
Andrew Dhlakama Manager: Air Cargo Security AvSec: Dangerous Goods and Cargo Security
Please refer to the Aviation Directives attached for further clarity,
We urge all our industry colleagues to practice these tips for avoiding the Coronavirus now more than ever while we are facing this global epidemic. #WeSaveLives
With the recent outbreak of the COVID-19 virus, or better known as the Coronavirus, it is critically important for everyone to practice good hygiene habits, so we recommend these tips for avoiding the Coronavirus.
With the arrival of the Coronavirus in South Africa,travelling abroad or locally or just from home to work and back, the risk of contracting the virus has become a reality. Here at Professional Aviation Services we understand the risk associated with the industries we are involved in.
As a member of the Aviation industry, you interact with a vast number of people, as well as cargo and luggage. The risk of exposure, especially at international airports, is higher. However, if everyone remains calm, and practices good hygiene, the risk of contracting the virus will remain low.
Below are tips for good hygiene which can aid in avoiding contracting the corona virus and other flu viruses.
Wash your hands thoroughly and frequently.
For at least 20 seconds all the way up to the elbow.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
These are the quickest and easiest “ports of entry” into our immune systems.
Keep an appropriate distance from others.
Maintain approximately 1 meter from persons who are chronically coughing and/ or sneezing.
Practice good respiratory hygiene.
Use your bent elbow or a tissue when coughing or sneezing.
Avoid live animal markets.
These conditions are great breeding grounds for diseases.
Take flu like symptomsseriously.
Symptoms like fever, coughing, a runny nose or sneezing should demand medical care promptly.
While it is not our intention with these tips to create a sense of panic and chaos, we do aim to create a heightened sense of awareness regarding personal hygiene among our industry colleagues.
It is in times like these that you are the true superheroes who deal with shipments and passengers from all over the world to ensure that the everyday lives of all South Africans continue uninterrupted in a safe, secure and healthy manner.
We are in an age of progress and development, in love with technology; the latest phone, app, tablet…………
The “Internet of Things” is constantly in the news, everything connected to everything, sending our personal information to who knows where, to be used by who knows who, for who knows what, all supposedly safe.
“Big data” to be mined to revolutionize our lives, everything from medicine to security, we are in the era of technology doing everything, faster, better, more accurately, we will be safer because of technology.
In security and safety, people matter more than technology ever will.
People are on the front line of our security systems, we rely on people to operate our sophisticated security systems, people to keep all that “big data” where it is supposed to be and ensure that it is only used for the intended purpose.
And people to recognize the threats to our safety and security. People who are properly trained, motivated, engaged, people who have our safety and best interests at heart.
Our challenge is that it is much easier to deal with technology than with people, you program technology and it does whatever you tell it to do (in theory), it does not argue, talk back, think, feel, it is easy.
People are difficult, fallible, they argue, they make mistakes, they get sick, they have family and friends that distract them, they are vulnerable to temptation under the right conditions.
But people also have your best interests at heart, they think, they react to challenges, they rise to meet the threat, they feel, they can anticipate consequences, they can break rules when it is prudent to do so, people are our best protection.
One reason for this may be that we treat people the same as we treat technology, switch them on, they run for 12 hours, switch them off. Repeat tomorrow.
We can have the very best systems, machines, processes, procedures but if your people are broken everything else will be as well.
Fix the people and the problem is fixed. Simplistic but true. Treat your people as people not things, engage your people in designing solutions (they know more than you do about your operations and how it works or doesn’t) treat them as you want to be treated.
Let’s make the effort to recognize that people are the heart and soul of our security and safety systems, let’s train, equip, reward and include them as the most valuable security parner we have, and things will change, we will all be safer.
Please understand that everything your security people does, matters, and can make the difference between normal operations and disaster.
Let’s stop treating our machines and systems better than our people.
A version of this article was published in SAEPA News Delivery in October 2017
CBS Chicago has the story of a lady who manged to slip past all AVSEC measures at O’Hare’s Terminal 3 and board a London bound flight….
This after wondering around the terminal for two days.
Yes, in 2018.
Once on the London-bound plane, sources say, Hartman hid in a bathroom and eventually walked out and found a seat. When she couldn’t produce a passport Monday at Heathrow Airport, officials sent her back to O’Hare, where she was taken into custody Thursday.
The list of failures is long and I am sure that their will be enough blame to go around but perhaps the place to start is Human Factors and Training?
Drones, UAV’s, UAS, RPAS – whatever terminology that you may use, unmanned aerial vehicles are becoming more and more popular, not just for use by hobbyists who like to fly them on weekends, but for commercial purposes.
Using Drones for Commercial Use
Commercial use of drones ranges from aerial photography and filming, to being used in anti-poaching operations, aerial surveys, crop spraying, wildlife and other forms of monitoring, parcel delivery, delivering of medical supplies to remote areas, evaluation of fire scenes and incidents and surveillance.
Major retailers such as Amazon, are experimenting with drone technology for the fulfilment of orders in their larger warehouses, as well as looking at the viability of utilising drones to do deliveries. Large industrial plants are investigating the use of drones for spare parts logistics. Drones have been used to deliver blood and other essential medical supplies in hard-to-reach rural areas in countries like Rwanda.
Delivery options such as these, if they become a viable option for urban areas can increase the speed of deliveries, as well as saving resources and streamlining processes.
There are infinite applications, which are limited only by the technology that is currently available.
Negative uses of Drone Technology
Drone technology has many benefits when used in a positive manner. But like most technologies, there is a dark side to it as well. The most common “negative” use of drone technology that is prevalent, is the use of weaponised drones in warfare, as well as drones that have been used for espionage.
Criminals are also embracing drone technology. There have been reports of drones being used to smuggle items into prisons for the prisoners. In the UK, criminals have attached thermal imaging cameras onto drones in order to pick up the heat signatures of their rival’s marijuana farms, in order that they can steal from them. There are also what are known as “Narcotics drones”. These are drones that are used by drug dealers to smuggle drugs over the U.S./Mexican borders.
Closer to home, there is the potential for criminals to utilise drones to identify potential targets for robberies, both of commercial and private properties.
The word “Drone” has a negative connotation due to the use of weaponised drones that have been used in warfare by various countries, so the preferred name is the term RPAS – Remote Piloted Aircraft Systems. This definition encompasses the wide range of RPA systems that are available, from miniature units that can fit into the palm of your hand to larger fixed wing units with wingspans of more than 1m.
Risks involving RPAS
But with every technology, there is some element of risk that is involved. The military potential for destruction and the criminal element have already been highlighted, but the risks involving RPAS to the civilian user is just as high.
Injury to the Public
RPA’s can be very dangerous if not operated safely. Multi-rotor RPAS units have very sharp carbon fibre blades that can cause injury if they come into contact with a person. There has been a case in England where a toddler has lost an eye due to being injured by the blade of a RPA that was being flown in the backyard of the house.
Most RPA’s are powered by a rechargeable Lithium Polymer battery. As the recent Samsung Galaxy Note 7 incidents have illustrated, Lithium batteries can be very dangerous, if they are not manufactured or handled correctly. The Lithium Polymer batteries that are generally used in RPA’s are large and very powerful. If these batteries are not managed properly, they can be damaged and the damage to the battery can cause it to explode or ignite.
Besides the safety issues surrounding the RPA itself, other risks from the negligent operation of an RPA are the following:
Collision with other aircraft, with possible fatal results
There are frequent reports from around the world of pilots reporting RPA’s flying near their aircraft when coming into land. Besides the blatant disregard of the laws stating that RPA units should not fly within 10 km of an aerodrome, this is very dangerous. If the RPA had to strike the aircraft at a critical point while landing, and get caught up in an engine or wing flap, there could be disastrous consequences for the aircraft.
Other risks include damaging people’s property and legal liability for breaking laws such as privacy by-laws and other laws enforceable by other authorities.
Minimising the Risk
So, how can this be prevented? Firstly, by implementing specific legislation with regards to RPAS, and secondly by educating the public as to the risks and the rules regarding the use of RPAS.
South Africa is one of the first countries in the world that has introduced legislation with regards to the operation of Remote Piloted Aviation Systems (RPAS). With the rapid growth in the RPAS industry and the increased use of RPAS for commercial applications, legislation is necessary to ensure the safety and security of everyone who shares civil aviation airspace.
Part 101: Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems – the regulations that govern the operation of RPAS in South Africa became applicable in July 2015. These regulations cover the use of RPAS for commercial operations, corporate operations, non-profit operations and private operations.
With regards to operating RPAS in South Africa, if a person operates a RPAS unit for their own use, it may only be used for an individual’s personal and private purposes where there is no commercial outcome, interest or gain. The pilot must observe all statutory requirements relating to liability, privacy and any other laws enforceable by any other authorities. It is also a requirement that those that sell RPAS, display notices and inform buyers of the basic regulations as it applies to private and other uses of the systems that they sale
Commercial operations; corporate operations or non-profit operations
If an entity or a person is operating a RPAS for commercial operations; corporate operations or non-profit operations, the RPA must be registered and may only be operated in terms of Part 101 of the South African Civil Aviation Regulations.
Aviation Security Awareness Training for RPAS
Often the reason that individuals make mistakes or inadvertently break the rules, is that they are not aware of what the risks are or the potential threats. Therefore, one of the mandatory requirements is that all personnel employed in the deployment, handling, and storage of RPAS need to undergo Aviation Security Awareness Training, as detailed in Part 109 of the Civil Aviation Regulations.
Professional Aviation Services has been involved in the Aviation industry in one form or another for the last 35 years. We specialise in offering risk services in terms of compliance; aviation security consulting; training and aircraft sales.
We are passionate about educating and equipping people, and we are an approved Aviation Security Training Organisation. We offer the only SACAA approved Aviation Security Awareness training course designed specifically for RPAS operations. If you would like to find out more or book a training session, please contact us. Training is available at all our facilities. To find out more, please visit our training site, www.professionaltraining.co.za.
In terms of mitigating risk and increasing security, education is key. The correct application of the regulations, the ongoing education of the public and the safe operation of RPAS, will go a long way in keeping the skies and people safe. This will create an environment where the use of RPAS technology to solve problems can become a reality.
One of the more controversial aspects of our task as aviation/cargo security professionals is the question of background checks, commonly (and incorrectly) interpreted as being a criminal record check.
So what is a background check?
A background check as defined in the Civil Aviation Regulations of 2011 means:
“background check” means the checking of a person’s identity and previous experience, including any criminal history as part of the assessment of an individual’s suitability to implement a security control and/or for unescorted access to a security restricted area;
You will note from the above definition that the criminal record check is a very small part of the background check but we have elevated it in importance to being just about the only thing that we check when carrying out the background check required by Regulation.
And even when we do find a person with a criminal record the decision on the person’s suitability for employment in a security sensitive position is not straight forward or clear cut, there is no reason whatsoever that a person with a criminal record could not be a very valuable team member who would present no threat to aviation security.
Not so other aspects covered by a proper background check; things like:
possible radical affiliations, pending investigations,
serious financial difficulties,
all these aspects that could present a much bigger threat and which become clear on a thorough background check.
We make extensive use of pre-employment forensic interviews and polygraph tests combined with very thorough vetting of employment records before we employ people in security sensitive positions, perhaps not perfect but a process that has proven effective.
This is an international problem, this article is from the Sydney Morning Herald:
The personnel were subjected to a standard criminal record check which did not cause any alarm because the people concerned had never been convicted of a crime!
How could this have been prevented?
A forensic interview and polygraph pre-employment would have helped.
We need to go beyond the standard “crim check” into the realm of proper, professional background checks especially for persons in security sensitive positions like screeners and persons applying security controls in respect of cargo and persons including all access control personnel.
Remember that the one of the most difficult to detect and combat threats to aviation security (and the general security of your company and its operations) is the “insider threat”, it is critical that you implement proper background check procedures to protect yourself and your company.
Changes to Part 110 of the Civil Aviation regulations currently awaiting signature by the Minister of Transport call for much more stringent recruiting policies and processes including much more intensive background checks for screeners.
This is a very positive development that we should all support.
How can we help?
Please feel free to call us should you require advice on the background check process.
A discussion on the safety of transporting lithium batteries
by: David Alexander, General Manager, ICAO AVSEC PM
The transport by air of lithium batteries has been in the news lately, from air carriers banning the transport of “hover boards” to the latest news that the FAA is lobbying ICAO for a total ban on the transport of lithium batteries on passenger aircraft.
But why the fuss?
Imagine that you are on an aircraft at 36 000 ft and a lithium battery fire breaks out in the hold, a fire that cannot be extinguished by any current aircraft fire suppression system, a fire that provides its own oxygen, a fire that burns at 2 000 c and will continue to burn until it consumes all combustible material including the aircraft and…..you.
Far-fetched? No. unlikely? Possibly but we are not in the business of taking chances with people’s lives.
All that being said lithium batteries are perfectly safe to carry provided that they have been UN certified as safe for transport, have been manufactured by a reputable supplier, have been packed according to IATA standards and have not been mishandled. Batteries contained in equipment (cell phones for example) or packed with equipment (your new laptop) are perfectly safe.
The US National Transportation Safety Board issued two recommendations this week to the Department of Transport. It recommended that lithium batteries be physically separated from other flammable hazardous materials stowed on aircraft, and also to set maximum loading density requirements, which would limit the quantities of lithium batteries and flammable hazardous materials on board.
The benefits of having more Known Consignor’s in South Africa in relation to an improved Secure Supply Chain environment.
by: Elliot Molemi, Aviation Security Consultant, Professional Aviation Services
Since the introduction of Part 108 into the Civil Aviation Regulations of South Africa there has been a total of 120 Known Consignors accredited by the Civil Aviation Authority, this number has gone up and down over the years and at the time of writing this post there were only 27 left. This number is dwarfed by that of approved Regulated Agents which stands at 136.
More disturbingly is that this means the country’s air cargo secure supply chain has lost 93 Known Consignors in the past 5 years or so. This slump can be attributed to numerous reasons; intangible commercial benefit, and insufficient knowledge by consignors, no targeted workshops by the authority to disseminate information and chief among all the subtle discouragement from Regulated Agents.
The role the industry can play
From the CAA, Airlines and Ground Handlers, there is no member of the secure supply chain better positioned to encourage the participation of consignors in the secure supply chain than the Freight Forwarder. The forwarders have daily dealings with consignors. Consignors believe that Part 108 is an onerous process and the Designated Officials of Regulated Agents can help in allaying this myth.