The need for any aviation authority to have an alert and more so, efficient accident or incident
investigation mechanism cannot be over emphasized particularly in present day aviation practice. It
is thus, in the best interest of any state, not only to be on the high alert in the event of an accident
occurring. As well as also having sufficient resources and expertise, to engage in the investigative
process. A significant factor to the carrying out of such investigations is off course, the manner in
which such process is regulated. More so because investigations of this nature can only be carried out
and addressed in a manner stipulated as a matter of law.
It would therefore follow, that the legislation which directly regulates the process in which the
investigations are carried out should be both succinct and clear. Further, it should also adhere
strictly to internationally established guidelines of due conduct in the occurrence of accidents.
Aircraft accident and incident investigations are central to the observance of safety in aviation as a
sector. Thus, the realization of aircraft safety in aviation is a central function of any aviation
authority. It is a role so central, that it is one that is internationally recognised and harmonised.
Though not a matter of enforced International law, international best practice in this field is
established in a convention, in particular the International Convention on Civil Aviation of 1944,
which is more commonly referred to as the Chicago convention. As all treaties and/or conventions
this is an opt?in regulatory mechanism, in which only member states bind themselves. Therefore,
where a state becomes a signatory to same and has bound itself, it is of crucial importance that it
observes the laws or regulations to which it has bound itself.
As a matter of course, individual state compliance at times even for mere ratification purposes has
proved over time to be a tricky process for numerous states. This is particularly prevalent in
developing countries. Some texts have attributed this to various aspects, such as lack of necessary expertise and resources amongst other factors. Whatever the reason however, it is important that
states eventually comply with regulations laid out in conventions, so as to achieve harmonisation in
processes of International applicability.
This research paper seeks to take an in depth look into to the extent to which Swaziland as a member
state of the Chicago convention, has achieved compliance with the set guidelines of the Chicago
Convention. However, the report will confine itself to aircraft safety as the focal point, and in
particular, focus on the specific regulatory mechanisms that relate to aircraft accident and incidents.
Mini Dissertation (LLM)--University of Pretoria, 2016.