Aviation safety remains a thorn as ICAO audit looms
Namibia’s tourism industry has called on the Namibian Airports Company (NAC) to take urgent action by addressing the concerns and recommendations made by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) to ensure that Namibia remains accessible to and from international destinations.
This comes after the Airports Company received concerning reports from officials of the International Civil Aviation Organisation regarding the general aviation safety in Namibia. These officials have been in country to ensure that Namibia conforms with international aviation safety and security standards.
The Federation of Namibian Tourism Associations (FENATA) in a statement said the direct and immediate consequence of such a finding is that international airlines (such as Qatar Airways or KLM) will no longer fly to Namibia and at the same time Namibian airlines (Air Namibia) in all likelihood will be prohibited to fly to international destinations.
However, when high-level representatives of the tourism industry, government officials as well as the ICAO expert team held a meeting this week to address these concerns, both NAC and Air Namibia, chose not be present at the meeting.
According to the federation, failure to comply with this deadline at the end of November, will result in a non-compliance report from ICAO officials regarding the general aviation safety in Namibia.
This, federation fears, will have catastrophic and far reaching consequences not only for the tourism industry, but for the entire Namibian economy. Non-compliance will also have the effect that all airports in Namibia will be affected, not only Hosea Kutako International Airport.
Meanwhile, Fenata and the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association assured that they will be working closely with the government to try and avert this looming crisis.