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COVID-19: NCAA income heavily affected by pandemic

COVID-19: NCAA income heavily affected by pandemic

The Namibia Civil Aviation Authority’s has been heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, with its monthly income dropping by N.dollars 15 million, NCAA interim Executive Director Reinhard Gartner has said. Speaking at a media conference here on Monday, Gartner said aviation is amongst the worst affected industries as flights came to a standstill globally.

He explained that the NCAA is not a revenue generating entity and does not pay dividends to the government. However, for NCAA to fulfil its responsibilities to assure a safe, orderly, regular and efficient civil aviation system, it requires resources.

Gartner further explained that Namibia is a signatory to the United Nations Convention on International Civil Aviation (ICAO), noting that this means the country’s aviation industry and system should comply with the regulations, procedures and recommended practices of the convention.

“Borders were closed and no income was coming in, yet we were expected to carry out our duty and meet the standards of ICAO to avoid Namibia getting a significant safety concern audit which determines the safety capabilities and status of states’ implementation of all safety-relevant ICAO standards and recommended practices,” he noted.

Gartner further indicated that currently, NCAA is busy preparing for an audit report by ICAO in November. For Namibia to pass the audit, it needs all the required procedures, human resources and standards in place that will enable a safety recommended aviation system.

He further noted that audits are tailored to the level of complexity of aviation activities in a state. A good audit report will allow for international aircraft operators to find space in the Namibian market.

“A good audit report is how we will get international airlines such as Qatar flying into the country. Every plane using our airspace pays money to the NCAA, and that’s how we generate money, amongst other activities,” Gartner stated.

He said a full complement work structure of NCAA should have 230 people, however currently the entity only has 150 due to lack of resources, adding that the unoccupied positions also have an impact on the report.

Gartner indicated that the NCAA has spent about N.dollars 8.5 million over the past two years on training local aviation practitioners and an additional N.dollars 17 million on bursaries for air traffic control training.

Source: Namibia Press Agency

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