The Civil Aviation Authority of Solomon Islands (CAASI) is a statutory body established on the 18th December 2008 under the Civil Aviation Act 2008. The principal responsibility of CAASI is to perform the state’s responsibility of regulating civil aviation operations as required under the International Civil Aviation Convention (Chicago Convention) at the national level.
CAASI operates as an autonomous body and is responsible for the effective discharge of Solomon Islands’ obligations under the Chicago Convention.
CAASI administratively reports to the Ministry of Communication and Aviation’s (MCA) executive management and coordinates with the Ministry on policy matters relating to civil aviation services. However, under the Civil Aviation Rules, the MCA’s technical Divisions are bound to report to CAASI on all technical functions of the Divisions.
Civil Aviation Board
CAASI functions under the management of the Civil Aviation Board which is responsible for providing the governance and oversight for the operations of the civil aviation authority. The Board is also responsible for approving CAASI’s annual work programmes and operational budgets.
The Civil Aviation Board is a three person Board consisting of:
The Attorney General as Chairperson
The Permanent Secretary of the MCA
The Director of Civil Aviation
Functions of CAASI
Although CAASI reports to the MCA’s executive management, it is a functionally an independent authority that is responsible for regulating the civil aviation sector including civil aviation services and service providers. CAASI’s functions are drawn from section 9 and 15 of the Civil Aviation Act 2008. Section 15 gives CAASI the key mandate to exercise control over the entry and exit of the aviation system.
CAASI’s functions as provided under the Civil Aviation Act include:
- To undertake the safety, security, and other functions in a way that contributes to the goal of achieving an integrated, safe, responsive and sustainable aviation transport system
- To promote civil aviation safety and security in Solomon Islands
- To promote civil aviation safety and security beyond Solomon Islands in accordance with the international obligations of Solomon Islands
- To establish a service to be called the Aviation Security Service
- To appoint where required a Chief Investigator to investigate and review any accident or incident in accordance with Part VIII
- To maintain and preserve records on the Solomon Islands Register of Aircraft and the Civil Aviation Registry
- To promote safety and security in the civil aviation system by providing safety and security information and advice, and fostering safety and security information education programme.
- To enter into technical or operational arrangements with any civil aviation authority of another country
CAASI’s authority under the Civil Aviation Act spans across a wide area of technical functions. CAASI is responsible for carrying out supervisory standard checks across technical areas such as airport operations and management, air traffic control, aviation security services, engineering and technical services. These standard checks include checks on technical aspects of airline operators and other service providers including the meteorology services. Overall, this gives CAASI the power to regulate airport operations, including all personnel and officers such engineers, pilots, airline services, other aviation services, service providers and airport companies operating within the aviation industry.
Civil Aviation Licences
CAASI is responsible for issuing licences and certificates to aviation operators and to those working in the aviation sector in the Solomon Islands. CAASI is also responsible for renewing such licences and certificates under the discretion of the Director of Civil Aviation.
Civil Aviation Rules
The Civil Aviation Authority of Solomon Islands (CAASI) currently operates on the New Zealand Civil Aviation rule system. These rules outline the standards and specifications that all service providers that fall under CAASI’s regulatory authority are expected to adhere to.
CAASI’s legal mandate to enforce these rules is granted under the Civil Aviation Act which gives the authority to the Minister of Communication and Aviation (MCA) to adopt and enforce some of the Civil Aviation Rules that are applicable to Solomon Islands’ aviation industry and sector.
CAASI ensures as a matter of procedure that all aviation operators and services operating in Solomon Islands comply with relevant standards as set out in the adopted Parts and expositions of the Civil Aviation Rules.
The adopted Civil Aviation Rules include Civil Aviation Rules Parts 172 for the air traffic control, Rule Part 140 for aviation security, Rule Part 139 for aerodromes and Rule Part 119 for airline operations.
In the interest of safety as the overarching objective of the civil aviation industry, the technical services of the MCA and service providers in the aviation sector are required by CAASI to develop expositions and operational manuals in conformance to the relevant adopted Civil Aviation Rules Parts. The service providers are also required to have certain standardized facilities in place before they can apply for a certificate to operate.
Additionally, during the tenure of their certification, the service providers will be subject to surveillance and audits by CAASI which aim to determine whether they perform according to rules outlined in their operational manuals. CAASI can approve or terminate any certification based on its assessments.