Part 139 D&E Aerodromes Update: AOPA President’s Response to the NCAA Interim Executive Director

Letter from the AOPA Namibia President to the NCAA Interim Executive Director

25 April, 2022

The Interim Executive Director
Namibia Civil Aviation Authority
Rudolph Herzog Street

ATTENTION: Mr. Ericsson Nengola

Dear Mr. Nengola,

I am writing in response to the following correspondence from the NCAA:

  1. Your letter of 19th April 2022, addressed to the President of AOPA informing us that you cannot agree to our conditions of attendance of the NCAA Working Session on the 27th April.
  2. The letter from Selma Mulokoshi on behalf of Dennis Gaingob, Acting Senior Manager AGA, addressed to the CEO of AOPA, dated 21st April, to which was attached the document: “Permits of Category D and E Aerodromes (Subpart 5)”.

We appreciate your endeavours to “create a practical and inclusive Aviation System that is aligned and compliant with international requirements”. However, AOPA is of the opinion that what the NCAA is attempting to do with Part 139 subparts 4 and 5, will have exactly the opposite effect. On numerous occasions since the introduction of Notice 293 of 2018 subparts 4 and 5, AOPA has attempted to convince the NCAA that most of the provisions of Part 139, but especially those relating to categories D & E aerodromes, will have the unintended consequence of causing severe harm to general aviation through unnecessary and burdensome over-regulation.

Our objection to Part 139 has been clearly articulated during several meetings and in several letters to the NCAA. Regrettably, we have received very little by way of acknowledgement of our concerns apart from the fact that the NCAA has agreed to delay the implementation of the regulations and standards pending further discussion.

Your latest proposal to provide a platform for discussions during your proposed “Working Session”scheduled for the 27th April, was declined by AOPA for the reasons given in my letter of 13th April. In that letter, I explained that we would not attend for the purpose of discussing the NCAA’s latest version of Part 139, subparts 4 and 5, but we would only attend for the purpose of explaining the 2basis for our objections, so that we would have the opportunity to provide input into Part 139. Previous attempts at having our objections to Part 139 acknowledged had failed, and we felt that it was high time the NCAA provided a platform for the voice of the general aviation industry to be heard.

Furthermore, we have maintained that any regulations pertaining to certain Category D aerodromes and all Category E aerodromes, are not mandated by ICAO. In fact, the FAA regulations, from which ICAO Part 139 were drafted, do not impact Category E aerodromes at all. As such, it is our contention that the NCAA’s insistence on over-regulating private airfields outside of controlled or military airspaces, is a misinterpretation of international norms and is completely devoid of any justification based on safety concerns. The implementation of Part 139 for D and E aerodromes will result in the closure of most General Aviation “airfields/airstrips” and will undoubtedly cause untold harm to general aviation, severely impact tourism, government flights, business aviation, medical evacuation flights and many other sectors of the economy. There are many examples of first world countries with orders of magnitude more general aviation aircraft than Namibia, where private airfields for private and public use by light aircraft, are completely unregulated and perfectly safe.

As you declined our offer to present our objections and proposals relating to Part 139 to the NCAA during your proposed Working Session on the 27th, we shall not be attending the Working Session. However, we request another opportunity to present the reasons for our objections as well as our proposals for what we view to be a more sensible way forward on Part 139, that would not have a devastating impact on aviation, tourism, transportation and the general economy of Namibia.

I look forward to hearing from you at your earliest convenience.

Yours sincerely,

M.T. Dawe
AOPA Namibia

AOPA Namibia exists to protect the aviation interests, rights and privileges of ALL its members.

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