The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has removed the significant safety concern (SSC) tag given to Botswana since most of the safety problems it had raised had been dealt with.
The ICAO had “red flagged” Botswana in 2013 over safety concerns, black listing the country alongside Angola, Djibouti, Eritrea, Georgia, Haiti, Kazakhstan, Lebanon, Malawi, Nepal, Sierra Leone, Thailand and Uruguay.
A four person team from ICAO was in Botswana from 9 to 16 December this year on a validation mission.
Civil Aviation Authority Botswana (CAAB) spokesperson, Modipe Nkwe said Botswana has made significant progress since the coordinated validation mission held in April 2013 in terms of implementing ICAO standards and recommended practices. He said the team indicated that based on work done to address the two significant safety concerns pronounced against Botswana following the 2013 coordinated validation mission in the areas of Operations of aircraft and Airworthiness of Aircraft, it would recommend to ICAO that the significant safety concerns be removed.
In terms of Effectiveness Implementation of ICAO standards and recommended practices, the team indicated that Botswana has moved from a rating of 53.78 percent in 2013 to 71.32 percent after the just ended coordinated validation mission. Nkwe said that “this remarkable improvement in Botswana’s rating puts the country above both the Africa and global averages of 46.39 percent and 62.68 percent respectively.”
He said the ICAO coordinated validation mission results will be validated at the ICAO headquarters and will be communicated in writing to the State within 15 days while a draft coordinated validation mission report will be forwarded to the State within 90 days following the ICAO coordinated validation mission. \
Nkwe said the removal of the significant safety concerns and the tremendous improvement in Botswana’s rating represent major milestones in the Botswana civil aviation industry. This will contribute towards rebuilding confidence in the aviation safety capability of CAAB.
“In addition, the results of the ICAO coordinated validation mission are reflective of the huge effort that was put by all stakeholders, in particular staff of CAAB, but would not have been possible without the support of the Ministry of Transport and Communications and the Board of the CAAB,” said Nkwe.
CAAB Chief Executive Officer, Geoffrey Moshabesha assured the ICAO team of the country’s continued commitment to achieving the highest possible level of compliance with international standards.