The Civil Aviation Authority of Botswana (CAAB) has resolved to recruit and train more staff in an attempt to reinforce security at all airports in Botswana.
In that regard, the authority has roped in an additional hundred 100 aviation security personnel as well as rescue and fire services staff. Their main duty will be to ensure the safety of both aircrafts and passengers in Botswana’s airports. Between August and October this year, a number of CAAB’s rescue and fire services personnel underwent training in level three first aid, while a team of 43 firemen went to South Africa for a systematic fire fighting training course. More members of staff will reportedly go through a screener’s refresher course in February 2016.
Speaking at the Aviation Pitso in Maun recently, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Transport and Communications, Neil Fitt admitted that airports security in Botswana is currently lax, adding that his ministry will do everything possible to remedy the situation and move the aviation sector forward. He further said the entire transport sector is extremely important as it also serves as a backbone for many sectors of the economy.
Fitt said the transport sector must operate under set regulations for it to perform well and according to standards. He added that his ministry is working towards being more reactive to the private sector to facilitate growth of the industry.
“As you may be aware, Maun International Airport alone has always been a hive of air activity in Botswana primarily because of the huge number of aircrafts landing and taking off at the facility. Its landing strip has accommodated the world’s biggest jets and we must ready ourselves to enhance the aviation sector in the country. This we will achieve through continuous upgrading of all major airports and air strips, many of which are found in this tourism town,” said Fitt.
When delivering the keynote address, Chief Executive Officer of Botswana Oil Willie Mokgatle emphasized the importance of maintaining safer skies.
“As the aviation industry continues to grow, we must also consider the national policy and how it can create a more conducive environment for further economic growth. I personally believe further liberalization can help to create increases in air transport connectivity. It has been proven that airline liberalization is capable of increasing demand while also ensuring increased connectivity and sustainability,” he said.