South Africa - Country Commercial Guide
Aviation

This is a best prospect industry sector for this country.  Includes a market overview and trade data.

Last published date: 2020-10-01

Overview


 

2018
 

2019

(estimated)

2020

(projected)

2021

(projected)

Total Market Size

440,000

445,000

25,000

110,000

Total Local Production

49,000

49,000

10,000

16,000

Total Exports

56,000

57.000

15,000

30,000

Total Imports

460,000

470,000

150,000

200,000

Imports from the U.S.

225,000

225,000

130,000

130,000

 

Exchange Rate: 1 $

14.14

14.58

 

 

Unit: $thousand

Total Market Size = (Total Local Production + Total Imports) – (Total Exports)

Note: Above figures exclude the value of the aviation defense procurements.

Date Source: Above figures are unofficial estimates obtained from industry sources.

In 2016, South Africa ranked 76, after Greece, for global U.S. aircraft parts exports. However, the growth of commercial and general aviation in southern Africa has slowed down significantly; high operating costs and a sluggish economy are taking their toll on discount airliners and general aviation. The launch of the African Union’s Single African Transport Air Market, which comprises 28 countries including South Africa, in 2018, provided airlines an opportunity to increase their operations on the continent. The biggest growth is expected in other Sub-Saharan African states as they ramp-up up their capacity to meet long-term growth in passenger travel and air freight. There has been a downturn in airborne off-shore utility and mineral deposit surveying done by South African operators in southern and central Africa over the past years. Unmanned aerial systems (UAVs) / drones are however making steady progress for a host of utility and security applications.

The single most important aviation procurement, the long-anticipated upgrade of the national carrier South African Airways (SAA) fleet amounting to as many as 20 jetliner aircraft is still in question, with the statutory appointed Business Practitioner Rescue (PBR) process under close scrutiny by both National Treasury and organized labor. The SAG is still hoping that a turn-around strategy will succeed by finding an equity partner.

 

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) in 2015 released drone regulations (http://caa.co.za/Pages/RPAS/Remotely%20Piloted%20Aircraft%20Systems.aspx ) that have complicated certification of UAVs; however, there is significant pent-up demand for this disruptive technology in surveying, surveillance, and infrastructure:  

Sub-Sector Best Prospects

The best prospects for U.S. suppliers are:

  • Professional Drone Componentry, Systems, and Training Ground Support Equipment
  • Passenger Transport Vehicles
  • Cargo De-Grouping and Logistics
  • Air Traffic Control
  • Instrument Landing Systems
  • Aircraft Technician Training Systems

Opportunities

Due to a shortage of skilled technicians and a low throughput from training institutions, there are opportunities in training systems to upgrade the skills pool. There is also demand for commercial and general aviation solutions from the United States in the following fields:

  • Engine Management Systems
  • Precision Tooling
  • Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul (MRO) Certification
  • Flight Training Systems

Web Resources

Airports Company South Africa (ACSA)

Website:  http://www.airports.co.za

 

Air Traffic and Navigation Services (ATNS)

Website:  http://www.atns.co.za

 

Commercial Aviation Association of Southern Africa (CAASA)

Website:  http://www.caasa.co.za

 

Civil Aviation Authority of South Africa (CAA)

Website:  http://www.caa.co.za

 

Exhibitions:

Africa Aerospace and Defence (AAD) 2022

Land, Sea and Air Systems Show

Date: September , 2022

AFB Waterkloof, Pretoria

Website:  http://www.aadexpo.co.za

 

For More Information, the U.S. Commercial Service in Johannesburg, South Africa, can be contacted via e-mail at:

Johan.vanRensburg@trade.gov; phone: +27 11 290 3208; fax: +27 11 884 0253,

or visit our Website:  http://export.gov/southafrica/index.asp.