Namibia gets ICAO safety certificate

NCAA staff complaints looked at

15 October 2019 | Transport

Namibia received the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) President Certificate in Aviation Security at the organisation's 40th general assembly held in Montreal, Canada, in late September.

This certificate is usually awarded to a particular ICAO member state, but Namibia received it alongside a number of other members.

It is an award in recognition of a particular state's visible progress on ICAO standards and recommended practices. Transport minister John Mutorwa, said last week the eligibility criteria used for this recognition are objective and transparent and based on ICAO's universal security audit programme, which is a continuous monitoring approach.

Namibia will again undergo a universal safety oversight audit in 2020, for which Mutorwa urged all role players to prepare well in advance.

The 2018 ICAO audit pointed out certain deficiencies at the Hosea Kutako International Airport (HKIA), which Mutorwa said were taken “very seriously” by cabinet.

An inter-ministerial cabinet committee, chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, was established and considered issues like congestion, screening and safety measures at the airport.

This committee presented a report on what needs to be done three weeks ago. The Namibia Airports Company (NAC) is to implement the recommendations.

Mutorwa yesterday urged the board, management and staff of the Namibia Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) to work together as professionals in a fair, just and transparent manner, particularly in dealing with organisational reform. The NCAA has been transformed from a directorate in the works ministry - a public-service entity - to a parastatal, which is a juristic body. Mutorwa said his office had received a number of NCAA staff complaints, most of which had to do with the new organisational structure.

“Some staff members who were competent, efficient and effective to do their work in the former Directorate of Civil Aviation are apparently all of a sudden being regarded as not good enough to be placed correctly on the NCAA establishment. There is also a false notion that some staff members have been seconded from the MWT's former directorate,” Mutorwa said. Mutorwa pointed out that the directorate does not exist anymore, and therefore no one could have been “seconded” to the NCAA.

To establish what is going on, Mutorwa has appointed the deputy executive director of the department of government air transport services, Joe Shipepe, to “factually and objectively” investigate the issues and complaints and submit a report with “clear recommendations” to him.

CATHERINE SASMAN