NANCY MWAPE, Lusaka
ZAMBIA has been nominated for recognition of excellence in safety and security performance in the civil aviation industry by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).
The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) will receive the award on behalf of the country this September in Montreal, Canada.
In an interview, CAA director Gabriel Lesa said Zambia is among the few countries in the world that have been nominated for having performed well in safety and security standards last year.
Other African countries nominated are Togo and Egypt.
“The president of ICAO has nominated Zambia among other states to receive the president’s certificate, which is recognition of excellence in terms of performance of civil aviation.
“The criteria used was extremely stringent, that is why few countries were selected. It is a big honour for Zambia and good public relations to assure travellers and those that wish to invest in Zambia’s civil aviation that the country has put up measures to ensure safety and security,” he said.
Mr Lesa said the nomination is an endorsement of safety and security in the aviation sector.
Meanwhile, the Civil Aviation Authority has welcomed the launch of Mahogany Airline, which was suspended three years ago due to operational challenges saying its return is good news for the industry.
Mr Lesa said Government, through the civil aviation authority, is opening up the industry to give opportunity for the private sector to flourish.
“Competitive air travel will create a favourable environment for [the] aviation sector. With more players coming into the aviation sector, it will create competition and lower the price of flying,” he said.
He said Government is creating a competitive entry of multiple airline operators.
“The environment for aviation is set to grow with the way Government has transformed the department of civil aviation into an autonomous authority.
We are putting things right, and the projection looks good; we expect passenger and cargo traffic to grow,” he said.