SWAKOPMUND: The introduction of a new Civil Aviation Act will bring far reaching improvements to the safety and efficiency of Namibia’s civil aviation industry, the Minister of Works and Transport said on Wednesday.
Erkki Nghimtina announced this during the introduction of the proposed Civil Aviation Bill to stakeholders in the aviation industry here on Wednesday.
He said a new body that will control and regulate civil aviation and security in Namibia was one of the main amendments proposed in the new Civil Aviation Draft Bill.
Nghimtina indicated that the proposed Bill is modern and comprehensive, and will provide for the creation of a new standalone body to be known as the Namibia Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).
He explained that the new regulatory body, still to be created, will be an autonomous body, and as such, will have the potential to move towards becoming a self-funding entity.
“The body will not be constrained to the Public Service salary scales, but it will be able to attract, develop and retain the specialist aviation skills that are needed today for effective and efficient safety regulation,” the minister said.
He added that Government is committed to bring into force a new Civil Aviation Act to repeal the 50-year-old Civil Aviation Act of 1962, as a result of all the changes which occurred over the past years in the aviation world.
The minister referred to changes such as aircraft operations which became more complex, as well as international safety requirements.
“As a result of the changes which occurred, Namibia is positioning itself to become a leader in civil aviation safety standards in Africa, hence the need to have the right tools,” Nghimtina stated.
Also speaking during the meeting, Law Advisor of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), Peter O’Brien indicated that it is important that the NCAA is established so that it becomes self-sustained to replace the current Directorate of Civil Aviation.
The proposed Civil Aviation Bill, prepared by the Directorate of Civil Aviation, will be outlining Government’s ongoing work with regard to upgrading the civil aviation system of Namibia.
The Draft Bill also contains provisions to enhance and upgrade accident investigation and aviation security. The Bill will only be tabled in Parliament next year. After the finalisation and gazetting of the Bill, there will be another formal consultation period as part of the enactment process.