On 27 July 2014, the South African Aerospace Medical Association (SAAsMA) rose Phoenix-like from the ashes of its predecessor, the South African Aviation Medical Association (SAAMA). The new Association was born at the Conference held at the Netcare Conference Facility in Sandton, and its formation was long overdue in view of all the changes that hace occurred in the aeromedical world over the past few years. These are turbulent times, and a medical professional body is sorely needed in South Africa to represent the interests of DAMES, and to provide a body that can help them to attain and maintain a high level of professional competence in the interests of Flight Safety.
SAAsMA is also fortunate in now being able to draw on the expertise of the SA Psychological Association to whose members it now offers Associate membership. The psychological aspects of Flight Safety are coming under increasing scrutiny as the man/machine interface changes with advances in technology, and their expertise is of major value to us.
The activities of SAAsMA can most easily be accessed through its website (www.saasma.co.za). Anyone can access it, although the Forum and some other areas will only be accessible to members – which brings us to a vital point, which is membership of the Association. We are fortunate in having a core of aeromedical experts on the Executive Committee, headed by the current President of the Association, Dr. Kobus Kotzé. However, the Association cannot reach its full potential without more members. This is YOUR association. It is there to represent YOUR interests, and to give you the information that you need to keep your work as a DAME up to the highest professional standards. Please join us, not only in your own interests, but in those of the Flight Crews and Air Traffic Controllers that you serve. Flight Safety of the highest standard is still the name of the game, and will remain so.