Tuesday, May 14, 2013

■ SWAZILAND: SWACAA signs deal in which the ATNS will provide ATC services at Matsapha Airport among others.

The Air  Traffic and Navigation Services (ATNS) Company of South Africa and the Swaziland Civil Aviation Authority (SWACAA) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which will result in better harmonised continental  airspace, thereby  improving the smoothness and  cost-efficiency of the entire air traffic service chain between the two countries.  

The agreement was signed by Mr. Thabani Mthiyane, ATNS CEO (Acting) and Mr Solomon Dube, the Director General of  the Swaziland Civil Aviation, on Friday, 10th May 2013, in Manzini, Swaziland. 
ATNS is part of a larger collective that includes other Air Traffic and Navigation Service Providers, Directorates of Civil  Aviation and other airspace users within the African Continent that is working tirelessly to bring down Africa’s accident  rate of 16.8, to the global average, which stands at 4.0,” said Mr. Mthiyane, after the signing of the agreement. Mr Mthiyane further stated that there is a need for a homogeneous airspace structure, for all airspace users. “The results  are  the  attainment  of  African  skies  with seamless  airspace  and  better  usage  of  new  technologies  for  better  efficiency  in  Communication, Navigation and Surveillance. This will enable the industry to achieve efficient and safe air navigation  services.” 
The  MoU  entails  the  following:  that  it  remains  the  responsibility of SWACAA to continue to maintain ground equipment within the boundaries of Swaziland, which will support area control activities within the area of responsibility, which has been delegated to ATNS. 

SWACAA will also ensure that the necessary arrangements are in place to enable the ATNS to provide Air  Traffic  Services  within  Matsapha  Airport on behalf of the Kingdom of Swaziland. This is partly, as a result of the close proximity of Maputo, Nelspruit and Matsapha Airports.

In response, the SWACAA Director  General  of Civil Aviation, Mr Dube said:
This agreement states that ATNS should  monitor aircraft which use our airspace. ATNS has equipment that could monitor aircraft as far as Mozambique and also  the Indian Ocean. It is on this strength that we requested ATNS to provide such a service for us.
Both ATNS and SWACAA have, in concluding the agreement, indicated that there would be a project  management team which will hold internal meetings as and when required to assign actions, solve any  problems and propose solutions, define specific activities, review the project schedule and formulate detailed aviation-related plans.  

Notwithstanding the provisions of the above-mentioned agreement, the ATNS is committed to promoting  the  Southern  African Development Community (SADC) Upper Airspace Control Centre and has already made a significant contribution to the regional cooperation with its other regional partners. The UACC will allow for the provision of air traffic services at regional  level, based on the ICAO African Indian Ocean (AFI) Implementation Plan and CNS and ATM’s highest standards.