Albert Msithini

Manager & Project Leader: RPAS Integration, Aviation Safety Operations

Joined the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) in October 1998 as an airworthiness inspector (specializing in avionics, electrical and instruments). Activities included conducting routine and ad hoc inspections and audits in the various local and international organizations and their operators. Aircraft inspections and audits – modifications installation, dedicated test and calibration laboratories for various avionic, electrical and instrument equipment. Other duties included reviewing and amending legislations and applicable technical standards. Through growth and development within the SACAA, went up from inspector, senior inspector, principal inspector and eventually ended in the position of Manager – Technical Audits in the airworthiness division from 2005 to 2008. From 2008 to 2010 June was doing training duty – as manager technical training. This involved research and training newly recruited inspector on the SACAA policies and procedures and various engineering skills. Participated briefly as project leader for the SACAA 2009/2010 decentralization project to Cape Town and then joined the newly formed Unmanned Aircraft Systems Programme Office (UASPO) in July 2010 as a specialist. Currently holding the post of Project Leader/Manager - RPAS.

Prior to joining the SACAA worked as hangar and line maintenance engineer, specializing in avionics, electrical and instruments, including flight engineer duties. Held various positions at various organizations outside South Africa (some listed ones one: Avionic foreman/supervisor, chief inspector and engineering manager). Was trained, type-rated and worked on various old & new generation aircraft from DC3/C47, DC-6, Vickers Viscount, B707/720, Fokker F28 and F100.

Was a member of the ICAO Unmanned Aircraft Systems Study Group (UASSG) representing South Africa and the SACAA since December 2010 until 2013 upon which time the study group became an RPAS Panel. Am a member of the Joint Authorities for Rulemaking of Unmanned Systems (JARUS) which is now fully supported by EASA, the European Union and EuroControl. All these forums are involved in research and development of UAS concepts for civil operations. 

First academic qualification was Diploma in Electronics – University of Swaziland in 1980, followed by Diploma in Avionics – 1985 at Ethiopian Airlines, first AME Avionics from Ethiopian CAA 1985, and obtained South African CAA AME in 1998.

Other qualifications and training undertaken include Lead & Quality Auditor (qualified), IATA Instructor (professional), Train the Trainer (qualified), Certification of Avionic Equipment, Aircraft Accident & Incident Investigator (qualified), Managing People Skills, Project Management for Non-project Managers.

Total aviation experience to-date is thirty six years (36 years).