The national airline, Air Botswana (AB), has passed the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) renewal audit, confirming its continuing compliance to Safety, Quality and aviation security systems.
The IOSA is the benchmark for global safety management in airlines. Every two years, each member of IATA undergoes the IOSA audit.
Thabiso Leshoai, the Public Relations Officer at Air Botswana, revealed that the airline had successfully gone through the renewal audit, which concluded on Friday 21 June 2013.
“‘This is a very good result!’ These were the words of the IOSA lead auditor during the closing meeting held at AB on Friday afternoon,” said Leshoai.
The audit examines all areas that contribute to the airline’s operational quality and safety which are: corporate organization and management, flight operations, operation control and flight dispatch, aircraft engineering and maintenance, cabin operations, ground handling, cargo operations and operational security. In identifying problem areas, IOSA does not consider specific incidents but rather, the systems and processes employed in these operational areas.
He said the audit was very good, although there were a few small documentation issues that were identified. AB received a clean bill of health, and will therefore stay on the IATA register, as long as the issues are addressed by the end of September 2013.
┬á Air Botswana was last audited in October 2011. After successful closure of all findings, the airline was re-registered with IATA. This was a major milestone in the history of AB, especially after the airline had been unsuccessful since 2007.
The AB management chose to submit to an audit four months prior to its expiry to ensure that any issues identified in the renewal audit are dealt with prior to its expiration.
However, the airline has been given a ‘grace period’ in which to address issues from the areas identified. “Although all areas were regarded as compliant, some systems in Maintenance and Engineering require strengthening,” said Leshoai.
AB stands to benefit from continued registration with IATA as a member in good standing.
┬áAsked on the recent suspension of the three directors and the impact it had on the recent IATA performance Leshoai declined to comment. However, information reaching Sunday Standard shows that the AB re-admittance as an IATA member would not have been possible with them around. The three directors that have been sacked are Lieutenant Colonel Chris Lempaletse of flight operations, Lieutenant Colonel Johnson Selerio of Maintenance and Engineering and Robert Mpabanga of Customer and Ground services.
┬á Meanwhile, the general manager at Air Botswana, Sakhile Reiling-Nyoni, is expected to be leaving the airline end of June 2013 after successfully running the airline with AB being re-registered as an IATA┬ámember.