CCAA: ICAO willed, Cameroon has made

Published: Sunday, 28 November 2010 17:52


Prompted by the concern of the international community to create an entity to oversee the safety and security in the country, Cameroonians experts charged the Cameroon Civil Aviation Authority (CCAA), with other sovereign functions. Notably the development of air transport, and maintenance of airport infrastructures.
Since the signing of International Civil Aviation convention referred to as the Chicago Convention, on December 7, 1944, the community of international civil aviation community has always thought, rightfully, that the Contracting States (State that ratified the Convention) would assume without difficulties their responsibilities and obligations as prescribed by the Convention.


For this reason, the Contracting States have focused since the 1980s, that is to say, twenty years after its ratification, on 15 January 1960 by Cameroon focused on improving navigation systems, notably the future systems of navigation through satellite known as "FANS".

But since 1995, ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) has successively led three programs which are: voluntary evaluation of safety oversight; the universal program of Safety Oversight Audit (USOAP) and systemic comprehensive audits of safety oversight. The voluntary assessment was conducted thanks to funding from states who responded positively, like Cameroon, to receive ICAO's mission. The program was not carried out in all Contracting States. The other two programs, due to their globalised nature, were mandatory to all Contracting States.

The findings of these programs showed many short comings. They notably demonstrated that laws promulgated by states in regards to civil aviation in most cases, did not delegate sufficient authority to entities responsible for the supervision of civil aviation. In addition, most states did not have all of the regulations necessary in place. Yet one of the obligations of the Contracting States to the Convention is the adoption of international standards as national regulations.
In most cases, the missions and the oversight function were diluting in the Ministry of Civil Aviation of States. Clearly, States did not provide for any specific entity to deal with matters concerning civil aviation.

In the same vein, some states did not set as priority the training of technical personnel, although human resources are a necessary element of safety oversight. International authorities also stated that the implementation of national and international standards must be supported by documentation to guide the national industry of the civil aviation sector on carryout their duties in the most appropriate manner. These documents were non-existent in some states.

Another concern is the obligation of certification, authorization and approval of personnel, infrastructure and equipment deriving from relevant articles of the Chicago Convention; which beyond the promulgation of regulations, demanded the implementation of systems which require financial resources, which was non-existent in most countries. As indeed the obligation of the Contracting States' responsibility to ensure the continued maintenance of the conditions used in the certification or approval of documents and certificates. Due to several other factors, some states did not exercise the monitoring of civil aviation activities. Finally the lack of effective systems in charge of resolving the problems detected during aircraft accidents and incidents was discovered in most states.

Creating an oversight entity
The eight shortcomings listed above nevertheless represent critical elements for a safety oversight system. Given the above, it was imperative that the contracting states established national entities responsible for safety oversight and have adequate financial resources. The recommendation of the international community can give rise to several types of organization to costs. For its part, Cameroon has chosen the creation of a public administrative institution with legal personality and financial autonomy. Certification,
Thus, in 1997with funding from the European community, Cameroon entrusted the drafting of the bill on the civil aviation system to a group of Cameroonian experts. In addition, the director of civil aviation set up a follow-up group in his department. The bill was tabled during the November 1998 session of the assembly and was promulgated into law on 24 December1998 by the president of the republic. The decree on the organization and functioning of aeronautics authority was signed on 16 September 1999.

These two important instruments entrusted the civil aviation authority not only with the mission of safety oversight in security as recommended by the international community, but also other sovereign functions, including the development of air transport, the implementation of security measures at airports’ and development planning and maintenance of airport infrastructure. On 26 January 2000, following a presidential decree, the first leaders of the civil aviation authority was appointed. The new structure took over the premises of the former directorate of civil aviation as its provisional headquarters, as well as all the personnel of the said directorate on February 26, 2001, by arête of the minister of transport, the technical staff of the former directorate of civil aviation was detached on secondment to the civil aviation authority. It was this last act that finalized the full implementation of the civil aviation authority.

Englebert ZOA ETUNDI

Inspector N°2 CCAA