Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Transport and Communications Neil Fitt has admitted that there are security lapses in some airports in Botswana.
Speaking at the aviation Pitso on Maun recently, Fitt said his ministry will do everything possible to offer the needed support so as to move the aviation sector forward.
He said the entire transport sector is extremely important as it also serves as a backbone to the economy.
He however said too often the sector is left behind while other developments are supported. For the sector to perform well and according to standards, he said there is need for it to follow prescribed set of regulations.
“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 is capable as it has taken the world’s biggest jets, so we need to ready ourselves to enhance the aviation sector in the country. This, we will achieve through the continuous upgrading of all major airports and airstrips, many of which are found in this tourism town”, he said.
In his keynote address, Chief Executive Officer of Botswana Oil Willie Mokgatle also stressed the importance of maintaining safer skies for the benefit of all concerned. He said the recent updating of the European Coordination Centre of Aviation Incident Reporting System – software used worldwide to monitor accident and incident database collection and processing is another welcome development as it will assist in the improvement of aviation safety records.
He said once up and running, it is hoped that the arrangement will encourage incident reporting, whether mandatory or voluntarily as stipulated by the relevant regulations.
“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 as it has proved that airline liberalization is also capable of increasing demand while also ensuring that the services providing increased connectivity are sustainable even in the long term”, he said.
It was also revealed at the Pitso that Civil Aviation Authority of Botswana (CAAB) has resolved to recruit and train more staff in an attempt to reinforce security levels at all airports in Botswana.