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Ms. Toska SEM, Executive Director Namibia CAA AFCAC Interview

Ms. Toska SEM, Executive Director Namibia CAA AFCAC Interview

  1. What have been your accomplishments within the Civil Aviation Authority and in the field of aviation in your country in 2022?

Despite economic slowdown partly brought about by COVID-19, the Government of the Republic of Namibia continued to invest in aviation infrastructure. The Hosea Kutako Congestion Alleviation Project was embarked upon mainly to relieve congestion within the terminal building and to ensure that it meets the safety compliance standards. The expansion project included inter alia expansion of checking in counter to eighteen, immigration counters, screening points to five and equally doubling its capacity with respect to airport facilitation.

Although the national carrier has been liquidated, Namibia has seen an upward trend in air traffic movements which stands above 50% of the pre Covid 19 levels. This is a good sign of economic recovery as we foresee increased tourism, and trade and investments.

Currently, five African airlines operate into Namibia under the Yamoussoukro Decision framework.

  1. What are your current challenges and what kind of support do you require from AFCAC? 

The Namibia Civil Aviation Authority is challenged with staffing needs, especially in key operational positions that require very specialised and scarce skills. To this end, specialised technical experts were employed on a consultancy basis to enable the Authority to meet its safety oversight and regulatory obligations. It is for this reason that Namibia requires technical support in the upskilling of trained inspectors in the areas of Flight Operations and Air Navigation Safety Oversight. In the same vein, this will aid Namibia to increase its effective implementation rate and improve service delivery to airlines.

Furthermore, Namibia will require technical support in the domestication of AFCAC Consumer Protection Regulation; Dispute Settlement Measures and Competition Regulations in the advancement of the SAATM

  1. What actions are you taking to ensure the effectiveness of the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM)?

Namibia is committed towards the implementation of the SAATM. At its participation of the International Civil Aviation Negotiations (ICAN) 2023 in Abuja, Nigeria, Namibia started engaging with countries on the PIP list in the negotiations to implementation of the SAATM. Furthermore, we are in the process of reviewing the Bilateral Air Service Agreements to grant 5th freedom traffic right to all African States. Similarly, traffic rights granted with limitations on the number of airlines operating on a route are systematically being reviewed to ensure compliance with the YD.

Going forward, Namibia is committed in extending more engagements with an increased number of countries to fully realize the implementation of SAATM

  1. What are your impressions about the SAATM PIP?

 Namibia is excited to implement SAATM and looks forward to AFCAC to support it with awareness initiatives and to provide more training for the initiative to successfully take off.

Aviation is the catalyst to economic development and Namibia being part of the PIP is committed to open its skies in realising a wider choice of air carriers, shorter travelling period, cheaper airfare, and improved quality service through the implementation of the SAATM 

Source: AFCAC - DG's Namibia Interview

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