Namibia’s aviation safety score increases

Namibia has reported a marked improvement in its civil aviation safety system and supervision capabilities.

According to preliminary data released by the Namibia Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) there has been a commendable rise in the effective implementation across the eight critical elements of aviation safety, with the percentage climbing from 57,39% in 2016 to an average of 72,31% in 2024.

“The NCAA is pleased to announce that our current performance exceeds the average effective implementation of eastern and southern Africa, which stands at 60%, as well as the global average, which stands at 69,3%,” says Bethuel Mujetenga, the board chairperson of the NCAA.

He says Namibia did not attract any potential significant safety concerns (SSC).

“An SSC does not necessarily indicate a particular safety deficiency in the air navigation service providers, airlines (air operators), aircraft or aerodrome, but rather indicates that the state is not providing sufficient safety oversight to ensure the effective implementation of applicable International Civil Aviation Organisation (Icao) standards,” Mujetenga says.

The effective implementation percentages for the critical elements of the Namibian civil aviation system are as follows: primary legislation (86,21%), specific operating regulations (72,22%), organisation (81,03%), qualification of technical personnel (60,47%), technical guidance and tools (92,73%), approvals, certifications, licensing (72,47%), surveillance obligations (52,48%) and safety resolutions (56,1%).

Aerodrome ground aids and airworthiness showed an improvement, compared to the 2016 audit.

“This significant improvement is primarily due to the implementation of regulations and certification of the two international airports, namely Hosea Kutako and Walvis Bay.

Furthermore, due to the approval of the aviation service operators in the maintenance organisations,” Mujetenga says.

He says oversight capabilities over the industry are relatively low, as reflected by the results.

“Currently inspectors conduct surveillance mainly on new service providers or, alternatively, during the renewal phase of its business. Similarly, the critical shortage of inspectors is an area that is receiving our attention to enhance our surveillance,” Mujetenga says.

He says the NCAA is obligated to increase its surveillance over the industry and the industry should expect more on-site visits from its inspectors.

To address the critical deficiencies identified in the qualification of technical personnel, surveillance obligations and safety resolutions, the NCAA has prioritised the training, attraction and retention of critical skills in its integrated strategic business plan to enable inspectors to enhance surveillance capabilities and intensify its safety resolutions.

The audit commenced on 6 March and concluded on 18 March.

Mujetenga says the audit serves as a vital mechanism for evaluating and enhancing the country’s aviation safety oversight capabilities.

“It provides an objective assessment of our adherence to international standards and identifies areas for improvement. By undergoing this audit, Namibia as a state reaffirmed its unwavering commitment to ensuring the highest levels of safety and regulatory compliance within its aviation sector,” he says.

Namibia as a signatory to the Chicago Convention was last audited by the Icao in 2016.

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