Friday 16th December: Gaborone, The Civil Aviation Authority of Botswana (CAAB) on December 16th celebrated one of its milestones of the year in the aviation industry, when it announced an impressive International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Coordinated Validation Mission (ICVM) audit score and an Airport Certification. Botswana underwent an International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Coordinated Validation Mission (ICVM) on the 15th to 22nd June 2022 and conducted the certification of Sir Seretse Khama International Airport (SSKIA) from October to November 2022.
An ICVM is part of ICAO’s continuous programme to ensure that all countries continuously attain the highest level of compliance to international aviation standards with the aim of safeguarding the safety of international aviation. Before this recent audit, the last ICVM was conducted in May 2018 and by then, Botswana attained 61.07% score. Speaking at the ICVM & Airport Certification appreciation event held at Sir Seretse Khama International Airport, CAAB Board Chairperson, Basimane Bogopa announced there has been vast improvement over the past four years. “Today we stand at a score of 80.1% and this is an increase of 19%. Botswana has consequently surpassed the global average of 67.7%, the Eastern and Southern Africa’s average of 57.1% and Africa’s average of 57.82%. This is indeed a great achievement,” Bogopa said.
He said in 2012, African Ministers responsible for civil aviation adopted 16 key safety milestones among which target number 7 required African member states to ensure that at least one international aerodrome in its territory is certified by the end of 2022, which has now become a reality. The certification of SSKIA will increase confidence among the traveling public as the airport had met and satisfied the minimum standard for international travel. This will also further increase air travel, he said. The certification of the airport comes as a significant development in the history of Botswana’s aviation industry, led and supported by the Ministry of Transport and Public Works under the leadership of Minister Eric Molale.
Having graced the event, the Minister highlighted that it was commendable that the country has moved from the ICAO safety compliance level of 61.07% in 2018 to 80.1% this year.
“It is a clear indication of our commitment as a country and by all stakeholders in the aviation industry to play their part in making Botswana skies safe. I pledge that my Government will continue to provide our aviation sector with the necessary resources including human and financial resources to ensure that excellent standards are maintained,” said the minister. He said Botswana does not have other option but to strive towards improving the aviation safety record, noting that it is an assurance they are committed to with ICAO and other associated African agencies on aviation. The Director of Accident Investigation for Botswana Government, Olefile Moakofi emphasizing on the significance of the certification and declared that the ICVM play a major role in the national economy of any contracting state.
Clearing the air, he said it is often concluded that the concerned audits are meant for CAAB, correcting that they are rather for the country. “We are all involved and affected as Batswana. The results of the ICVM’s and audits directly impact the tourists, international trade and direct foreign investment that the president of Botswana and his cabinet are pursuing,” highlighted Moakofi. The prestigious event featured the presentation of the ICVM report to the Minister as well as the presentation of tokens of appreciation to stakeholders.