The South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) has dismissed rumors suggesting that aviation services in South Africa were coming to a halt due to expired Instrument Landing Systems (ILS).

In a statement SACAA said: “It has come to the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA)`s attention that there are circulating reports inaccurately suggest that aviation activities in South Africa are about to come to a screeching halt as a result of the airports instrument landing systems calibration expiring some airports.”

International standards set that ILS certification is valid for 150 days with an extension of 30 days. Furthermore, an airport operator can apply for a 25day extension in line with standing regulations.

“Assertions that suggest that all ILS’s at South African airports are switched off and not functioning are misguided. Regulations prescribe that ILS certificates are valid for 150 days with an automatic tolerance of 30 days without the required application for an extension,” SACAA added.

Statement from the South African Civil Aviation Authority on the Calibration of the Instrument Landing System at Airports in South Africa.


The ILS certificates expired at four of the country`s airports and as a result have been downgraded to a lower meteorological rating as prescribed by the regulations. These airports include, OR Tambo, King Shaka, Kruger Mpumalanga and George Airport.

SACAA added: “OR Tambo International has 4 ILS’s and as of 10 August 2020, two of these were switched off at the lapse of the exemption period lapse. This airport will neither be closed or downgraded as reported. In addition, King Shaka International Airport has been downgraded to a lower instrument meteorological usage level as a result of two ILS being switched off. Other airports affected are Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport and George Airports whose exemption have also expired. These are the only ones that have been switched off.”

“The rest, even though they are nearing expiring during the month of August and later in the year are still operational,” SACAA said.

SACAA has had to outsource ILS calibration services after its aircraft was involved in a fatal crash early in the year. The South African regulator went to tender and a European service provider won the bid. However due to the travel restrictions and other regulatory requirements the arrival of the aircraft has been delayed.


An ILS is a ground based navigational based instrument system that provides guidance to an aircraft when approaching or landing on a runway when the pilot cannot see the runway due to bad weather.

#SouthAfricanAirports #ILS #JustAfricanAviation

Copyright 2020 Just African Aviation Pty Ltd, Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to as the source.

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