Tuesday, July 9, 2013

■ CONGO (KINSHASA): IATA-backed safety audit of all Congolese carriers begins in Kinshasa.

DRCThe Democratic Republic of the Congo began its IATA-backed operational safety audit of all Congolese carriers at Kinshasa N'djili International Airport on Friday, July 5. During a working tour of the airport's and airlines' various facilities, Justin Kalunga, the Congolese Minster of Transport, was accompanied by Richard Nyanguile, the Director General of the Congolese Civil Aviation Authority ( l’Autorité de l’Aviation Civile - AAC) and Abdalla Bilenge, the Director General of the Congolese airports authority (Régie des Voies Aériennes - RVA).

Kinshasa Ndjili Airport
The former boneyard at Kinshasa's N'djili
Airport (Serge Bailleul)
The visit included a run-down of the audit process by the two IATA inspectors, Michel Béland and René Tavarez, to the accompanying ten Congolese staff from the AAC, expected to carry out similar inspections in future, albeit under their own auspices.

Among the criteria being scrutinized in the audit are: the entire administrative structure of the operator, all the internal guidelines given by the operator to its staff, all the training requirements for pilots, cabin crew, staff maintenance, ground handling (in particular loading procedures and balancing the awaiting aircraft). Thereafter, the operator's MRO procedures are to be inspected along with the actual aircraft operated.

Five airlines are currently being audited: FlyCAA (BU), Korongo (ZC), Airtrafic, ITAB - International Trans Air Business and Kin Avia. Kinshasa intends to use another firm to audit the rest of the country's operators come the end of November with all expected to have submitted the relevant documentation before then.

In a statement, Mr Kalumba said the audit would help raise the standards of aviation safety and operations in Congo with any airlines found to have failed the inspection to be grounded immediately.