Is MISASA Membership Mandatory?

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Is MISASA Membership Mandatory?

Postby alanmack » Thu Aug 12, 2010 1:54 pm

I have had a few queries on this matter recently and thus repeat here the post that I placed on the website on 27/1/2010

There is no requirement to be a member of the Aero Club / MISASA. Although there are significant benefits that accrure to those that do belong. It is possible that membership will become mandatory ito CAA requirements. RAASA currently do not issue ATF's to pilots that are not members in cases where the AP that signed off the aircraft enjoys the benefit of an established collective insurance policy. Should a pilot wish to obtain an ATF without MISASA membership then they must obtain an AP from an independent AME.

Set out below is my understanding of the detail pertaining to this matter:

The CAA requirements.

* The CAA do not currently require you to be a member of MISASA as MISASA does not have an approved ARO.
* Historically the CAA required you to belong to MISASA which was formed by Mike Blyth at the request of the CAA who were not prepared to "talk to individuals" iro NTCA microlight aircraft and wanted a representative organisation formed to deal with microlight matters. So, some years ago the CAA would not issue an ATF unless you were a member of MISASA.
* The CAA continued to require membership until it was pointed out that recognition of a representative organisation required an ARO and since MISASA was not an accredited ARO membership could not be compulsory.
* MISASA was then instructed to prepare and submit an ARO.
* The ARO is a large and complex document that deals with self-governance and other matters.
* The ARO document has been submitted on a few occasions and continues to be under discussion pending finalisation.
* Once the ARO is approved membership will be compulsory by way of the regulatory provisions laid down by the CAA ito the legislative powers granted to the CAA as a statutory body attached to the Department of Transport.
* This requirement is independent of the position of the Aero Club on this matter.

The Aero Club requirements.

* The Aero Club maintain an insurance policy that covers AP's for negligence etc if they are members of the Aero Club and the pilot is is member of the Aero Club.
* In short it is a policy for members.
* If you are not a member you are then not covered by the policy.
* All AP's that are members of the Aero Club require the insurance cover and thus if you do not want to belong to the Aero Club/MISASA then you do not have to belong but you do not qualify for the benefits accorded members.
* At an AP seminar in 2009 this matter was highlighted and RAASA has started to require on behalf of AP's that are members that pilots must belong to the Aero Club so as to validate the cover for the AP when an ATF is issued.
* So, if you find an AP (AME) that is not a member of the Aero Club then that AP's certificate should be accepted by RAASA without requiring membership proof from the pilot.
* Independent AME's carry their own insurances and I believe will charge you far more than average AP that enjoys the Aero Club cover.

RAASA requirements.

* RAASA simply check to ensure that Aero Club / MISASA affiliated AP's cover is validated by the membership of the pilot when issuing an ATF.
* If you are not a member they will issue the ATF without membership provided that the AP is not a member and is an AME in good standing.

The following explanation has been received from Neil de Lange the Executive Head of RAASA and ex Executive Head of the Aero Club.

This is in response to my undertaking at the MISASA meeting to explain the membership question in case of application to renew ATF.

I supply herewith my response regarding the question on mandatory membership of the Aero Club of SA, and in turn MISASA where relevant.

Firstly, when the owner of a Non-Type Certificated Aircraft (NTCA), irrespective if such owner is a natural person or legal person, applies to RAASA to have his Authority-to-Fly permit (AtF) renewed, and have employed the services of an Aero Club of SA Technical Approved Person(AP) for purposes of inspecting and signing the inspection report, the owner himself needs to be part of the Aero Club.

The reason for this is simple: the Aero Club AP scheme is exactly that, a group (club) scheme. The rules of the scheme, although approved by the CAA, remain the scheme's rules. The scheme attracts some legal liability, and the AP's in some instances may be said to act in a capacity which could be construed to be professional.

This professional capacity is insured against negligence by way of Professional Indemnity insurance. The insurance may only extend "member-to-member." The short is thus: "you want to use the scheme, you be part of the scheme".

Secondly, the argument invoking Chapter 2 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa (act 108 of 1996) in so far as the mandatory membership constitute a breach of the Freedom of Association is concerned is, in the opinion of certain legal practitioners, just invalid. (See The Bill of Rights Handbook by Currie and de Waal)

The Aero Club of South Africa's Technical Scheme does not limit Associational rights.

Should the applicant above elects not to use the scheme, he is left with other options, such as the service of an Aircraft Maintenance Engineer(AME), to inspect his aircraft. He may in any event employ the services of an AME, Aero Club membership or otherwise.

Thirdly, the Articles of Association of the Aero Club of South Africa calls for membership to be issued in terms of a particular section. This section depends on the type of flying activity undertaken by the applicant. This provision, irrespective of whether the services of the AP scheme is required by the member, stands.

It would flow from the above explanation that, an applicant for membership in the case where the applicant operates a Microlight aircraft, would be required to join MISASA as the appropriate section of the Aero Club of South Africa.

RAASA, as service provider designated in terms of the Aviation Act, seeks to confirm membership only in cases where the service of an AP is used in the event of an application. This is part of the due-diligence and duty-of-care exercises of RAASA.

As a footnote, membership of the Aero Club of SA can only be confirmed by the applicant or by the Aero Club on production of a valid membership card or by the Aero Club database. The Aero Club may not issue membership cards or update the membership database if the payment of the subscription fee has not been received by the Aero Club.
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Re: Is MISASA Membership Mandatory?

Postby John Boucher » Tue Mar 01, 2011 12:48 pm

With MISASA becoming an ARO .... the above now has changed.

You are now required to belong to the appropriate recognised body being - MISASA
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