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Government attaches great importance to the role aviation plays – Transport Minister

• Zambia’s commitment to safe and sustainable aviation has been shown through active cooperation.
• Zambia is particularly encouraged by the tremendous efforts being made by CANSO.
• Covid-19 pandemic has been such a huge challenge for the entire aviation industry.

Transport and Communication Minister had assured that the Government attaches great importance to the role that aviation plays to the overall economic development of the Nation and the Continent.

Speaking during a Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation (CANSO) Africa Regional Workshop on Operations and Safety, Frank Tayali noted this positive contribution of aviation to the economy can only be realized when aviation is conducted in a safe, sustainable and collaborating environment.

Mr. Tayali said Zambia’s commitment to safe and sustainable aviation has been shown through active cooperation with International Civil Aviation Organisation and Development Partners through which we it had been able to establish such institutions as the Aircraft Accident Investigations Board (AAIB) and the National Search and Rescue Organisation.

He however acknowledged that much work remains to be done since everyone knows that Africa’s achievements are still below the recommended safety targets.

“Zambia is particularly encouraged by the tremendous efforts being made by CANSO; it is through you that Zambia and other African countries are meeting international obligations and implementing ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPS) as well as addressing civil aviation system challenges through active cooperation,” Mr. Tayali said.

He added that with passenger and cargo traffic in Africa forecasted to grow at an average rate of 5.3% over the next two decades, it follows that the airline industry and aviation sector in general, will benefit, but will also encounter many challenges, particularly for the African region.

According to him, “These challenges require our collaborative effort and strong partnership as regulators, manufacturers, operators, and service providers as well as Government, if there is to be any progress in addressing the challenges.”

The Minister of Transport and Logistics has since to urge CANSO not to relent in its efforts of empowering member states with the right tools and knowledge to effectively collaborate for safe and sustainable aviation development on the continent of Africa.

Speaking at the same event, Zambia Airports Corporation Acting Managing Director Margaret Kaunda says Zambia Airports Corporation Limited stays committed to its regulatory duty of ensuring that “Our” Air Navigation and Airport Services are of world-class quality and in conformity with international standards.

Ms. Kaunda said in order to achieve its objectives, the Corporation believes collaboration with international organizations such as CANSO is essential.

“As a member of CANSO, Zambia Airports Corporation Limited has seen the benefits of belonging to this progressive Organisation, and hosting this workshop will ensure that the Corporation and the country as a whole do not fall behind on the ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPS) in terms of safe and sustainable aviation operations,” She added.

Meanwhile Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) stated that Covid-19 pandemic has been such a huge challenge for the entire aviation industry which was amongst the hardest hit sectors globally.

CAA Director General Mwewa Lesa noted Covid disrupted the way things are done but also taught the sector important lessons of how best to re-strategize in order to keep the aviation industry afloat and help manage the situation , which he believes is here with for some time.

Mr. Besa said International Civil Aviation Organisation, African Civil Aviation Commission and various stakeholders at global, regional and local level have had to effectively collaborate during the entire Covid period to see to it that measures were put in place that would not cripple the industry.

He said for the air traffic management area, information and guidance to support collaborative decision-making (CDM) between all Air Traffic Management (ATM) stakeholders at national, regional, and inter-regional levels for the effective coordination and management of traffic during the disruption caused by the covid-19 pandemic was developed and provided to help manage the situation.

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