Certification is one of the broad categories of customer service provided by the SASO in support of the Civil Aviation Authorities (CAAs) of the SADC Region.
Certification exercises are comprised of flight operations and/or airworthiness activities managed by the CAA in response to applications for certification. Some examples of the types of certificates sought are: Air Operator Certificates (AOCs), Approved Maintenance Organisation (AMO) Certificates, Approved Training Organisation (ATO) Certificates, Aircraft Registration or Airworthiness and special authorisations.
These are complex exercises as they are governed by national regulations and CAA policies. They require certification Authorities to have on staff, technical personnel that have the knowledge, skill and experience essential for managing certification projects and tasks.
Government Safety Inspectors (GSIs) from MOS States engaged in the management of certification projects for the first time may experience issues the resolution of which may be facilitated through SASO assistance.
Such assistance may take the form of consultation, or it may take the form of monitoring certification events for the purpose of ensuring the uniform application of standards. In some cases, SASO assistance may require the technical staff of the SASO to actually perform certification tasks on behalf of the CAA of an MOS State within the framework of on the job training (OJT).
As stipulated in Article 7 - Functions of SASO and subject to Article 4.3 under Establishment of SASO, the certification functions of the SASO shall include to:
- provide the Member States with a focal point that deals with issues relating to certification and surveillance with a view to harmonize and standardize all related policies and procedures;
- assist Member States perform certification and surveillance tasks; and
- participate, irrespective of the status of the safety oversight capability of Member States, in all initial certification exercises for the purpose of monitoring and ensuring the uniform application of common standards within the SADC Region;