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Global aviation experts in Zimbabwe to assess airports

Story by Stanley James, Business Editor

A team from the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) is in Zimbabwe to assess the country’s state of preparedness in managing public traveling systems in the local aviation sector.

The team, which is on a one-week technical assistance mission for Zimbabwe, this Monday held a workshop for the local aviation sector stakeholders.

The discussions centred on quality assurance systems at airports, compliance to global standards, capacitation of airports, boosting confidence in the aviation sector and modalities to deal with public health risks and disasters.

International Civil Aviation Organisation Regional Officer Mr. Elisha Omunya said, ‘‘Compliance to latest modes of standards within the ports of entries that is airports is emerging as key towards ensuring safety of the public travellers. Therefore, it is our plea that as the Covid-19 restrictions are being reviewed regularly the state of compliance to prescribed regulations is also important to Zimbabwe.’’

The visiting team is being described by Zimbabwe’s aviation regulatory authorities as a show of confidence on efforts being put in place by government towards refurbishment of existing facilities and construction of modern airports.

Airports Company of Zimbabwe chief executive officer Mr. Tawanda Gusha noted, ‘‘The government is doing its best to modernise and develop airports across the country. The primary aim is to match global standards while also assuring the aviation travelling public of safety. Basically, compliance to health standards becomes a key priority, a move that has seen us shifting focus to prescribed global standards for the benefit of the entire aviation industry value chains.’’

The ICAO team is also expected to hold meetings with government officials, visit the country’s airports, assess compliance to global standards and inspect aviation facilities among others.

The main thrust of the global aviation regulatory body, which is based in Montreal, Canada, is to develop the principles and techniques of international air navigation and to foster the planning and development of global air transport.

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