Botswana is due for an international aviation safety audit with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) International Coordinated Validation Mission Assessment this April 2013.
The country was last audited for safety in May 2006, since then this will be the first ICAO coordinated validated mission to be carried out in Botswana. The audit determines whether Botswana will come out of the list of countries having unsafe civil aviation systems.
The Civil Aviation Authority, with the assistance of the Ministry of Transport and Communications, are working around the clock to put in place all the things that were found wanting during the 2006 audit.
Chris Nkwe, the Public Relations Manager at CAAB, revealed that the mission is to check what progress had been made since 2006.
“The expert team mission is to check the extent to which the country’s Civil Aviation Act and regulations comply with the provisions of ICAO Annexes, staffing levels, qualifications and experience of CAAB inspectors, separation of roles between regulatory and service provision,” he said.
During the 2006 audit, the Civil Aviation ACT of 1977, Air Navigation Regulations of 1977 were found wanting as per international regulations. In addition, aviation then was still run under the Department of Civil Aviation and DCA could not recruit and retain qualified and experienced professionals.
“Significant progress has been made in addressing the issues; the civil aviation act of 2011 and civil aviation security act were promulgated in October 2011,” said Nkwe.
He added that most regulations have been amended though few are still wanting and the CAAB has been established taking over from DCA.
Nkwe said it is extremely difficult to predict the outcome of any such validation mission.
“CAAB is being assisted by the Ministry of Transport and Communications and has done what is possible, including engaging the consultant to assist Botswana to get ready for the ICVM,” he said.
He added that, so far, they are not through with the exercise and cannot say with certainty what the outcome could be.