Zambia will undergo a full International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) audit with other countries such as Botswana and Namibia in August next year, authorities say.
Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) acting Director General, Mulonda Mulonda, said the ICAO audit was meant to monitor the adherence of Zambia to international aviation safety standards.
Mulonda said this during the closure of the European Union (EU) funded Aviation Sector Support Programme ll to Zambia (ASSP) which started in 2017 with a budget of 1.8million Euros in Lusaka on Thursday.
He said the Authority would accordingly begin engaging stakeholders in the aviation industry before the audit on international aviation safety standards to avoid a reoccurence of 2009 when the country got banned from international airspace.
“You may be aware that ICAO audits the aviation safety and aviation security oversight capacities of its 193 member states.
“In the safety domain, these are carried out under the Universal Safety Oversight Audit Programme (USOAP).
Through USOAP audit, ICAO monitors the fulfillment of safety oversight obligations by its member states,” Mulonda said.
He added that the results of the USOAP activities allow ICAO to assess a state’ capabilities in providing safety oversight by assessing whether the state has effectively and consistently implemented the eight critical elements of a safety oversight system.
On ASSP, Mulonda said the four-year project was designed to support the development of a reliable and effective aviation sector in Zambia, capable of contributing to the country’s economic growth.
“The project’s objective was to help the Zambia’s Civil Aviation Authority and aviation stakeholders to improve their compliance with international aviation standards, in terms of both air safety and security certification and oversight,” he said.
Mulonda said to achieve this objective, the project implemented targeted initiatives in the areas of capacity enhancement and the strengthening of the institutional and regulatory framework.
Officially closing the ASSP, Transport and Logistics Permanent Secretary, Fredrick Mwalusaka, assured of government’s commitment to supporting the aviation sector so that it continues to spur the desired economic growth in the country.
Mwalusaka said government strongly believed that the public trust in the aviation sector rests on safety and security in all fields of operations as well as administration and oversight.
“The continuous assessment, review, enhancement and enforcement of international safety and security standards assures Zambia’s aviation sector to grow and sustainably persist in a social, economic and ecological manner,” he said.
Massimo Bonannini, Head of Infrastructure in the EU Delegation to Zambia and COMESA said the European Global Gateway strategy, which was the EU plan for major investments in infrastructure development around the world, would provide more opportunities for investments in sustainable, smart, resilient, inclusive and safe transport networks in Africa.
“Global Gateway will foster convergence with European and international technical, social, environmental and competition standards,” Bonannini said.
He said this was paramount for the aviation sector, which is facing and will face in the coming years important challenges: from maintaining and increasing the level of safety, to achieving a more efficient and accessible aviation.
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